Truth is, non-compete agreements (aka restrictive covenants) exist in almost every industry. Chances are if you are looking to hire someone with experience in any profession, they may come with a non-compete agreement.

As an employer looking to hire, what should you do?

1. ASK. ASK. ASK. Find out before you extend and offer and they start calling clients whether they have a non-compete agreement.

NEWSFLASH – many people don’t remember signing one and will tell you no, they do not have a non-compete. I would recommend you telling them in either writing, or some kind of formal communication, that they have represented to you that no agreement exists.

2. REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW. We are often hired by companies who want to know before they hire, whether or not an perspective employee’s agreement is binding, valid, and or will restrict their work for the new company. $500 now (legal fees to review the agreement) may save both you and the employee, time, money, expenses and energy in the long run.

3. BE PREPARED. If you hire someone who has a non-compete, to do the same or similar work they did before, be prepared that one or both of you may be sued. Is the employee worth the risk? Many are. Are you willing to promise them employment throughout litigation? That should be decided now. Are you willing to pay for their legal fees? Some companies believe an employee is worth the fight while others just cut and run. Better to know in the beginning which road you are willing to travel for a new employee.

Communication is key – with everyone. Employee to new employer, old employer to employee etc.

If you would like myself or Dan to review the agreement of your new hire or perspective hire, please call us today. We are happy to do so.

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 lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.