The best time to have an Austin non-compete agreement attorney review and advise you on such an agreement is before you sign it. The next best is when you are preparing to leave that job and before you accept a new one. The worst-case scenario is to find yourself calling a lawyer because you have been sued by your former employer for allegedly violating a non-competition agreement. The knowledgeable employment and business lawyers at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers are familiar with all three scenarios and offer affordable consultations for non-compete review and advice.
What Is a Non-Compete Agreement?
Simply put, a non-compete agreement restricts your ability to work in your field. Non-compete agreements are designed to protect employers from facing a disadvantage from an employee leaving the company and then using its business strategies, client lists, technologies, or other information they claim as trade secrets, to compete against them in the marketplace. Non-competition agreements can prevent former employees from working for competitors and starting their own businesses.
The national debate over whether non-compete agreements are good or bad for business and the economy is ongoing. A New York Times article on non-compete agreements says that more employers are using them in a wider array of jobs, expanding from their more traditional use in sales, software design, and upper management jobs to include hair stylists and summer camp counselors. If you have any questions regarding non-compete agreements, speak with a qualified Austin non-compete agreement attorney at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers today.
Texas Non-Compete Agreement Law
A non-compete agreement may be an obvious stand-alone document or may be a non-competition clause tucked into a larger employment agreement. Even if an employment agreement is not a contract guaranteeing employment for a specific time period and limiting the reasons the employee can be terminated, it may include enforceable terms such as a non-compete agreement, non-solicitation agreement, non-disclosure agreement, and/or agreements that funding for relocation or education must be repaid if employment terminates before the end of a specific time frame.
In Texas, to be enforceable a non-compete agreement must be ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement and be reasonable in its limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity. Both of those requirements are open to interpretation by the Court. Some professional occupations, such as attorneys or physicians, may be excluded from non-compete agreements or be allowed different restrictions.
Around the country, state laws range from placing few restrictions on the terms of non-compete agreements to banning them in North Dakota and California. It is possible to work in Texas but have a non-compete agreement that is governed by the laws of another state. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice from an experienced Austin employment lawyer regarding a non-compete agreement.
Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers | Austin Non-Compete Agreement Lawyers
Whether you are considering signing a non-compete agreement, have already signed on and are thinking of leaving the job, or are in a dispute over one, solid legal advice can help you understand the effect of the agreement and your legal options and give you a better foundation upon which to decide how to proceed. At Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers, our hourly rate for these consultations is very reasonable. Contact us today for information and assistance.