When you get hired by a new company, you are going to end up signing contracts and other paperwork. Sometimes you will find a non-compete agreement among that paperwork. They have been the source of some controversy in recent years and some states have changed the way they approach them, but what about Georgia? Here is what workers need to know before they seek out the help of an Atlanta non-compete agreements attorney from our firm.
What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement essentially says that a worker will not begin a job or trade that puts them in competition with their employer. State law in Georgia tends to favor the employer here, giving them some wide latitude to write agreements that could be seen as burdensome to an employee who wants to move on to a new job or a worker who wants to leave their position and start a business of their own.
What Makes Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable?
When a company wants a non-compete agreement to be enforceable, they need to meet a few important criteria. These agreements must:
Come with an employment offer or promotion: A company that tries to enforce a non-compete agreement must be offering something to the worker in return. If you are just getting on board with the company, they are offering you a job. If you are already at the company and get asked to sign a non-compete agreement, it should be coming with a promise of a raise or a promotion.
Be reasonable: Most non-compete agreements have an expiration date. They also have a geographic location in mind. Going too broad with either of these considerations can cause a non-compete agreement to be questioned in court. In general, an agreement that covers a specific geographic area, like the Southeast United States, should be fine. A non-compete agreement that includes the entire country could be seen as unnecessarily restrictive.
Show a valid business interest: The company must have a business-related reason for asking an employee to sign a non-compete agreement. For example, maybe the company teaches employees trade secrets and does not want workers to take them to another business.
Can You Fight Non-Compete Agreements?
If you believe that your non-compete agreement is not fair, we can take a look at it. If it considers too large of a geographic area or lasts for a longer time than is reasonable, it might be possible to fight the agreement in court and get you out of it.
Contact an Employment Lawyer
If you believe that you have good reason to challenge a non-compete agreement or you want to go over some contracts before you get brought on at a new job, our team can help. Contact Ben Barrett Law and schedule a consultation. We can advise you on what to do and tell you more about your legal options.