Continuing our summer series on some of the basics of employment law, a question that sometimes arises by an employer is what options are available to an employer if an employee violates a non-compete agreement.
A non-compete agreement is typically one where an employee agrees not to work for a competing entity for a period of time after his or her employment ends. It can be limited in geographic scope or profession or in a variety of other areas.
The first question though that must be addressed is whether or not you actually have an enforceable non-compete agreement. (Without an agreement, the options for an employer are much more limited.) If so, another question to ponder is whether — in bringing a lawsuit — you could be compensated by money damages for the loss. If the answer to that question is "no", then seeking an injunction may be the way to go.
The Connecticut Law Library has just released a new research guide that better explains this process, but in very brief terms, an injunction is an order from the court that would prohibit or prevent a party from taking certain action — at least for a period of time. In a non-compete context, an injunction could prevent the former employee from working for a competitor.
There are, of course, plenty of other paths to follow as well; mediation and arbitration are two such ideas that come to mind. But most of the time, time is of the essence.
So, this blog’s typical warning applies: each situation is different and employers should consult with their legal counsel if you believe a non-compete agreement is being violated.