An article in this week’s Connecticut Law Tribune suggests “how employees can negotiate around a non-compete agreement.”
But let’s look at the issue from the “other” side — the employer — and ask “how employers can enforce a non-compete agreement.”
There are a number of factors that courts in Connecticut will look at in deciding to enforce a restrictive covenant as known in the legal parlance, including the time restrictions and geographic scope.
Even so, the Connecticut Supreme Court has said that “test of its validity is the reasonableness of the restraint it imposes.” If, for example, the agerement “indefinitely restricts the plaintiff’s right to future employment in a management position”, that will likely be struck down by the court.
For employers, that ultimately means creating a non-compete that is narrowly tailored to protect a legitimate business interest. Having all employees — from your senior vice president to the mail clerk — sign the same agreement with the same restrictions may prove to be its undoing.
But most of all, seek experienced legal counsel to give your agreements the once over. Yes, you can look at what other companies have done. But tailoring the agreements to fit your particular business is crucial to be sure your agreement will be enforceable, if and when the time comes.