Employers are extremely aggressive when it comes to non-competition, non-incentive or business secrecy. Herrmann and Murphy`s lawyers have the experience of defusing these situations before litigation becomes inevitable and defending those accused of misconduct. You should contact a consultation immediately if your former employer sends you a letter saying that you are violating one of these agreements or the Business Secrecy Act. If we can help your company develop your non-compete agreements or as an employee review your existing non-compete agreement, contact our law firm in Raleigh at (919) 615-2473 or by filling out the contact form below. It is worth having an advisor who is familiar with business law and has successfully developed non-competition agreements for employers and who successfully advises workers on the non-application of their non-compete agreements. The courts in North Carolina have repeatedly found that an employer cannot prevent a worker from working in a position that has nothing to do with the job in which the worker worked for the employer. For example, a non-competition agreement is unlikely to apply if it prohibits a worker from working for a competing company when the worker performs duties for his new employer different from his or her former job. The reason for the refusal to impose such restrictions is that the restrictions go beyond what is reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer. The courts will apply very long prohibitions on non-competition. While one-year agreements are the most frequent, some employers will impose competition bans of up to five years for their employees. The courts will have agreements that last a very long time if the other conditions are extremely reasonable, but in general, the Court of Justice will be extremely skeptical of a period of more than two years. Non-competitions, which last two years or less, are probably applicable, unless their other conditions are also very broad. If the non-competition agreement is only used to stifle normal competition, it is insulting to public order when it promotes a monopoly at public expense and is not enforced.
For example, if a doctor in a small town had a non-competition agreement that would deter other doctors from practising in the small town, which would create a public health problem, that would probably not apply. I hope you will never face the need to fight a non-compete agreement, but at least you will understand a little better the applicability of the agreement if you sign your life away. The lesson for employers here is clear: be very careful when closing competition bans and non-injunctions. Let`s not overboard. Do not design them to the point of prohibiting the employee from having a connection with a company that offers similar services or products, and do not attempt to prohibit the employee from contacting customers with whom he or she has never been in contact. The temptation to design these provisions as a whole is extreme, because a company wants to protect itself as much as possible, but the penalty for developing too broad a competition or non-invitation alliance is simply that it will not be applied and that the worker will be free to work for a competitor.