Non-Compete Agreements

New Jersey Non-Competition (Non-Compete) Agreement Attorneys

You have spent hours to train your employees.

As an employee, you have been asked to sign a non-compete agreement or else be “fired”.

How do you protect yourself from the employees who can use classified or protectable information to unfairly compete against you? As an employee, what rights do you have from oppressive, unreasonable non-compete agreements?

A non-competition agreement, drafted appropriately, can protect your business from employees using or sharing your confidential and proprietary information with your competitors. However, employees also have rights to refuse unconscionable employee restrictions and covenants. At Hanlon Niemann, our attorneys advise employers and employees in avoiding problems that could create liability and legal difficulties later.

A Non-Competition Agreement in New Jersey

Enforcing a Non-Compete Agreement in New Jersey if You are a Business Owner

A non-compete agreement, written properly, is enforceable in limited circumstances in New Jersey and can protect your business from an employee who wants to join a competitor or provide proprietary or confidential information to a competitor. New Jersey law typically enforces non-compete agreements that meet the following criteria:

  • Protects a legitimate business interest
  • Does not deprive an employee of a right to make a living
  • Does not impose an unreasonable geographical limitation
  • on an employee
  • Does not remain in effect for an unreasonable amount of time

What Should You Do as an Employee Who is Asked to Sign a Non-Competition Agreement?

Call us right away. Not all employees should be asked to sign a non-compete agreement. Employees who are not upper management and do not have a unique function in the company typically should not be asked to sign since it is difficult to establish a legitimate business purpose in doing so and may prevent the individual from being able to make a living.

Additionally, if you are an employee who has already been working at a company for months or even years and is asked to sign a non-compete agreement, is it enforceable? A non-compete, like any contract, is not enforceable without offering new compensation or benefits to the employee for signing it. It is important to remember enforceability will depend in part on whether a restrictive covenant serves an essential and important business interest for the employer and whether some sort of compensation (financial or other) has been given.

Fredrick P. Niemann Esq.

As an example, asking the President of the company or a key upper management person to sign a non-compete agreement is different than asking a clerical staff person to sign a non-compete; the former can leave the job and find non-competing employment and has access to important private corporate information whereas the latter, in most cases, is not. If an employee is asked to sign a non-compete after they have started work at a company, some sort of compensation or benefit should be offered.

If you need advice or have questions on covenants or non-compete agreements in NJ, call Fredrick P. Niemann at 855-376-5291 or e-mail him at

Don’t let New Jersey’s complex employment laws keep you from exercising your rights.




Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney

NJ Employment Law Attorney serving these New Jersey Counties:

Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Camden County, Mercer County, Middlesex County,
Bergen County, Morris County, Burlington County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County