When you run a business, there is likely a significant amount of information you want to keep to yourself. This may include plans for products or operations, compensation packages, client lists, operational guidelines, and more. When people work for you, it is often necessary for them to learn about much of this sensitive information to adequately perform their job duties.
Having employees who have access to or knowledge of important information can be troublesome if that employee suddenly goes to work for a competing company. This can put your proprietary information in the hands of your direct competitors, which can take away your edge or be used against your company.
To avoid this scenario, many employers want individuals who start working for them to sign a non-compete agreement, which is often included in a larger employment agreement. The non-compete provision generally prohibits a former employee from working for competition in a certain geographical range for a certain period of time after the employment relationship ends.
While non-compete agreements are intended to protect the interests of a company, many courts will not enforce these agreements if they cause unreasonable restrictions or harm to the employee. The scope of the restrictions needs to be reasonably necessary to protect your information and may not cause undue harm to the public or to the employee. If a court finds an agreement is too broad or too restrictive for an employee, it may throw out the whole agreement and leave your company vulnerable.
To ensure that your non-compete meets the proper standards, you should have it drafted and reviewed by a skilled business lawyer who understands non-compete laws in Texas. If an employee brings a legal claim regarding a non-compete, you should also seek legal representation as soon as possible.
A Texas Business Law Attorney Can Address Your Questions and Concerns
Many company owners wonder how to handle sensitive information and non-compete agreements. The first step in solving your legal problems is to consult with a business lawyer at The Weisblatt Law Firm in Houston. Our office has helped many companies with employment issues, business contracts, business litigation, and more. Call today at (713) 666-1981 for more information.
Attorney Andrew Weisblatt
Mr. Weisblatt has practiced continuously since becoming licensed in 1992 and has represented businesses ranging in size from one person start-up ventures to multi-national corporations employing hundreds of people in multiple countries. From 2005 through 2009 Mr. Weisblatt was in-house counsel and chief operating officer of a multi-national corporation in the steel products industry. That in-house position provided valuable insight into how businesses work and what they actually need from their lawyers – both in-house and outside counsel. Attorney Bio