I understand that both employers and employees read our blog. I know this because of the many search queries that lead to our website, like the following: “Sample Cease and Desist Letter;” or “How to threaten an employee not to take customers.”

That being said, our goal is to help employees with their employment contracts and other business torts, not employers. Naturally, when we help employees across Virginia in various different industries, we see non-compete agreements of every shape and size.

I have seen leases that have been refashioned to look like employment agreements (which was kind of hilarious) and contracts that are so well written, no one could argue they were unreasonable or over broad.

One trend we see a great deal however, much to our delight, is the use of online forms… Where unsuspecting employers buy or use a form they find online, rather than ask an attorney to draft employment agreements for their employees.

Why would these forms cause delight? Because they are generally terrible, do not reflect the law of a specific state, and are most often unenforceable under Virginia law. All of this causes delight to a jaded attorney like myself.

And what could be more fun then saying to an employer “Hey, I know you bought these documents for $11.99 plus tax but they are totally junk and no Virginia judge will uphold them?” Very little.

So employees, get out a copy of your agreement. Google a few lines and see if you find it online. Also, a website address at the bottom of your agreement is a pretty good sign that the agreement was purchased online… Let us know if you need help!

Lauren Ellerman

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at