I will admit, I have family that own and operate car dealerships in Florida (call me if you need a good deal on a GMC or Honda).

So what does that have to do with my line of work, helping employees beat their non-compete agreements?

Nothing directly, except for the fact that I know almost every dealership in Virginia (and Fla.) uses non-compete and non-solicitation agreements for their sales people. Some use them for all of their employees, from their GM’s to F&I guys, to the gals in payroll and HR. (Please note my attempt to properly use car dealership lingo).

The VADA, Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, the trade group for dealers in Virginia, has an entire webpage dedicated to whether non-compete agreements are valid in the industry.

Here is the interesting news about the information they share on their website: It is not totally correct.

They write: ” Non-compete agreements can be difficult to enforce, particularly against non-management employees. “

I hate to disagree with you guys, but that just is not the law in Virginia. They can be enforced against sales, HR, mechanics, anyone, if deemed “reasonable” and protecting the legitimate business interests of the company.

Now, what the website says about Confidentiality is good: “Employees have a general common law duty to protect confidentiality.” That is correct and they do a fine job of explaining why that is so important.

So if you are an employee of a local dealership, and want to know your rights beyond what the VADA tells you, find an attorney to evaluate your non-compete agreement.

Oh, and if you want a good laugh – watch my brother’s latest commercial on Youtube – seriously worth a look.

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