Employment contracts are agreements between businesses and their workers that dictate everyone’s obligations to each other. Often, the company expects certain concessions from the worker in return for a competitive job offer.
Restrictive covenants are a perfect example of concessions employers expect their workers to make. The best-known restrictive covenant is the non-compete agreement which prevents a worker from starting a competing company or going to work for a competing business after ending their employment. Non-solicitation agreements are another popular restrictive covenant.
What limitations does a non-solicitation agreement impose on you as a worker?
It prevents you from using your current business relationships at a new job
Whether you go to work for a different company or you start your own business, the connections you establish at your current job could give you an unfair advantage. For example, you could reach out to former co-workers to offer them better pay if they come work for your new employer or try to negotiate contracts with clients that you know from your time with the former employer.
Non-solicitation agreements sometimes limit only one of these two behaviors. Before you attempt to recruit former teammates or do business with former clients, you will likely want to check the specific language of the non-solicitation agreement to ensure you don’t violate it. If your former employer believes that you broke the agreement, they could potentially try to take you to court.
Learning more about how employment contracts affect your future can help you plan while leaving a company or negotiate a more favorable contract before taking a job.