Non-compete Clauses, or CNCs (from “covenant not to compete”), are a common element on many employee contracts, most often for corporate executives, upper-level management positions, and radio and television broadcasting. A CNC limits an employee from taking a similar position with a competitor, usually as a protection to the employer. Depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction, a CNC may be invalid or illegal.
If you have signed a contract with a non-compete clause and you feel that your employer is taking advantage of you, there may be something you can do about it. Contact the Austin employment attorneys of The Melton Law Firm today by calling 512-330-0017 to find out more about your options
Why Is a CNC in My Contract?
A non-compete clause is meant to keep you from leaving your employer for a competitor or starting a competing business and taking advantage of sensitive or insider information which could then hurt your former employer’s market position. Simply put, they want to prevent you from hurting them financially.
The Legality of CNCs
The legality of these agreements varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the United States, with some states, such as California, not allowing them at all except for equity stakeholders. Most courts have ruled that non-compete clauses are legal under certain conditions, as long as they:
- Are not overly exclusive as to the geographical region to which the CNC applies
- There is not an unreasonable length of time during which the CNC applies
Generally, the courts have ruled that a person cannot be barred from seeking employment in a field for which he or she has special training or ability.
If you feel your employer is taking advantage of you with a non-compete clause, it’s in your power to do something about it. Contact the Austin employment lawyers of The Melton Law Firm to discuss your legal options by calling 512-330-0017.