Non-Competition Agreements

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

You have spent hours and money to train your employees.  That’s what employers have to do to stay in business.

As an employee, you have (or may be) asked to sign a non-competition agreement or else be “fired”.

What about confidential and proprietary information?  How do you protect your business from employees who want to take this classified and protected information to unfairly compete against you? Can you refuse to sign?  As an employee, what rights do you have to address an oppressive, unreasonable non-compete agreement?

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 & Wright, our attorneys advise employers and employees about problems that can create liability and legal difficulties now and in the future.

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 leave your employment to join a competitor or provide proprietary or confidential information to a competitor. New Jersey law typically enforces non-compete agreements that are reasonably written to meet the following criteria:

  • Protect a legitimate business interest
  • Does not deprive an employee of a right to make a living
  • Does not impose an unreasonable geographical limitation to earn a living or start a competing business
  • 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 a restrictive agreement 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.

If you are an employee who has been working at a company for months or even years and is now asked to sign a non-compete agreement, is it enforceable? A non-compete agreement, like any contract, is not enforceable without offering new compensation (i.e., consideration) or benefits to the employee for signing it. It is important to remember that 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 in exchange for signing a restrictive agreement.

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 higher-level non-competing employment whereas the latter, in most cases, cannot.

If you need advice or have questions about restrictive employment or covenants or non-compete agreements in NJ, call Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at 855-376-5291 or e-mail him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.

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</