Fort Worth noncompete agreement lawyers help clients interpret, negotiate and litigate noncompete agreements with employers. Noncompete agreements are agreements between employer and employee the employee’s employment opportunities after employment. These agreements can have a powerful effect on a future job search so it is important to treat them seriously. The employer may also call them covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants.
Why employers in Dallas or Fort Worth use non-compete agreements
Employers like non-compete agreements because they allow the employer to protect sensitive information. An employer cannot take information back out of your head when you leave employment so they must use a contract to limit your ability to use that information with a competitor. Examples of information a non-compete agreement may protect include:
- Proprietary business techniques
- Research & Development
- Sales contacts
- Sales processes
- Lead generation
- Pricing models
- Business relationships
- Other trade secrets worth protecting
A non-compete agreement may also limit a departing employee’s ability to compete in the same market. This may be useful where the former employer marketed the employee as an asset and does not want that marketing transferring to a competitor. It may also prevent a competitor in the same market who knows the employer’s trade secrets, sales practices or business contacts.
An enforceable non-compete agreement in Texas
In Texas a non-compete agreement must be enforceable to prevent a departing employee from moving into a competing role or using proprietary information in another Dallas or Fort Worth job. To be enforceable the agreement must:
- Be connected to some other enforceable contract (e.g. employment contract, severance agreement)
- Protect a legitimate business interest (see above)
- Contain reasonable limits on the activities restrained
- Contain reasonable geographic and time limits
If a non-compete agreement is not enforceable then the employer cannot prevent you from going to work for a competitor in the same market.
If the non-compete agreement is enforceable then the employer can go to court in Dallas or Fort Worth and seek an injunction to prevent you from working in breach of the agreement. This can be harmful to your career. That is why it is important to understand a noncompete agreement before signing. If you signed one and want to leave your current employment then you should understand the terms before putting yourself in a bad position.
Contact Fort Worth non-compete agreement lawyers
If your employer asks you to sign a non-compete agreement then you should talk to Fort Worth non-compete agreement lawyers right away. Once you sign the agreement it may be enforceable even if the terms will definitely impair your future job options.