Knowledgeable Commercial Law Team Challenges Restrictive Covenants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
We Represent Clients in Trenton & Pennington, NJ
Deciding to leave your job can be scary and difficult, regardless of whether the decision was your own or it was forced upon you by your employer. Right now, it’s important for you to have the freedom to find a new job so you can help support yourself and your family.
Unfortunately, the job market these days is not what it used to be. Times are tough all around, making it difficult to find employment in certain fields or geographical areas. If you are subject to the restrictions of a restrictive covenant, such as a non-compete agreement, your job search could be made even more difficult.
The skilled legal team at Cohen & Riechelson handles commercial law matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We can help you negotiate the language of a non-compete agreement before you accept a job position. If you are already in the process of leaving your current place of employment, we can review any restrictive covenants you’ve already agreed to and advise you about your rights and obligations.
What You Should Know about Restrictive Covenants
Many businesses require their employees to sign restrictive covenants, including non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. These agreements usually must be signed before the company will hire the employee. Some restrictive covenants seem reasonable, such as those that prevent an employee from giving a competing business an unfair advantage by divulging a trade secret. However, other restrictive covenants can be less reasonable – especially when they prevent former employees from establishing a competing business within a specified geographical region and within a set time period.
Similarly, although the law requires that a non-compete agreement be reasonable in scope and duration, courts have very different views about what constitutes a “reasonable” agreement. An experienced commercial law attorney can help you argue in court that the non-compete agreement in your case is an unreasonable limitation on your ability to compete in the open market and earn a living.
Clearly, a restrictive covenant can seriously limit your mobility after you leave your current employment. Many restrictive covenants include provisions that could make it impossible for you to get another job. Examples of these provisions include:
- You can’t work for employer’s competitors
- You can’t work for a competing business within a certain geographical area
- You can’t solicit employer’s existing clients
- You can’t solicit employer’s current employees
- You can’t divulge trade secrets
- You can’t share certain private information about your employer
- You can’t make any negative comments about your employer
When a former employee violates the terms of a restrictive covenant, they could face a lawsuit. Therefore, if you have been accused of breaching your agreement, it is important to protect your rights, interests, and finances by speaking with a restrictive covenants lawyer who can potentially argue that the agreement in your case is unreasonable.
Courts have generally held that non-compete agreements must be reasonable in both geographical scope and duration; they can’t be overbroad and unfair. A restrictive covenant that goes too far in limiting where and when an ex-employee can compete with the employer may be considered invalid and unenforceable. This determination will be largely dependent upon the unique facts and circumstances of each case, as well as the skill of your lawyer in arguing your position.
Experienced NJ & PA Commercial Law Attorneys at CR Can Help You Contest a Non-Compete Agreement
It is crucial that you understand each and every term in any document your employer asks you to sign. Before you agree to a restrictive covenant, speak with a knowledgeable commercial law attorney who can make sure you are informed and help you avoid accidentally violating any non-compete or non-solicitation provisions in a restrictive covenant. If you’ve already signed a non-compete agreement and have concerns or questions about what is required of you, an attorney can help.
The experienced commercial law attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson will review any documents you’ve already signed and negotiate with your employer to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. If necessary, our skilled commercial litigators are prepared to win your case in court and ensure that you are free to seek employment of your choosing.