A resource that some employers use to limit competition and preserve employee loyalty is non-compete agreements. This type of arrangement is standard for many white-collar positions that involve employment contracts. Whether you are in the process of transitioning to another career or updating your employment documents with your current employer, what you know about non-compete agreements can impact your career.
To avoid potential issues that can lead to litigation, a drawn-out job search or less than favorable job opportunities, consider the following myths about non-compete contracts.
Noncompete contracts are optional
Texas is an at will-state, but many employees are not fully aware of their employment rights when it comes to noncompete clauses. The Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust of 1983 act allows employers to use non-compete agreements as a condition of employment as long as the justification for doing so is within reason.
Noncompete agreements lack enforceability
Depending on the reasons for separation, transitioning workers can pursue career opportunities from potential employers. Some of those opportunities may violate their previous employer’s non-compete agreements. Though there is a statute of limitations on most legally-binding agreements, most noncompete clauses are enforceable unless they breach or violate certain parameters. There are penalties for all contractual parties.
Noncompete agreement violations are overlooked
Noncompete agreements enable employers to protect their interests. In doing so, they use a variety of resources to protect company secrets, practices and sensitive information from competitors, including prosecuting non-compete agreement violators.
Noncompete agreements may seem like they have no impact on employee and job candidate marketability and opportunities. However, non-compete agreement violation/breach accusations are not something to overlook and require a careful examination of employment law and evidence.