Non-compete agreements limit an employee’s ability to work for competitors or launch competing businesses. These agreements protect a company’s trade secrets and help businesses maintain their competitive edge. Unfortunately, they can also hinder an employee’s career growth opportunities by restricting your subsequent work options.
There are several ways to fight a non-compete agreement so that you can pursue other opportunities.
Understand the terms
The first step in challenging a non-compete agreement is carefully reviewing the document. Pay close attention to the scope of the restrictions. Make sure you also understand the duration of the noncompete period and any geographic limitations. If the agreement is overly broad or unreasonable, it may be legally unenforceable.
Negotiate with your employer
Sometimes you can negate the non-compete agreement with negotiation. Express your concerns and your desires to your employer and ask about any possibilities for renegotiation to reduce the chances of legal conflicts. If you can show that you have no intention to compete with their business, they may offer you an exemption.
Prove a lack of business interest
Another avenue for challenging a non-compete agreement is demonstrating that your employer has no legitimate business interest in enforcement. If your position provided no access to sensitive information, the court may negate the agreement.
Studies show that approximately 15% of workers have a non-compete agreement with their most recent employer. When your employer requires you to sign one, understand your options for invalidating that contract. Whether you negotiate with your employer or seek a legal injunction, this gives you the opportunity to more effectively further your career without unnecessary restrictions.