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Noncompete Agreements and Restrictive Covenants

New Jersey Lawyers Advise on Restrictive Covenants

Balancing employers’ legitimate interests with an employee’s freedom to seek work

When employees sign restrictive covenants, also called noncompete agreements, they agree not to work for competitors, usually within a specific geographic area, for a specific period. Many employers require noncompetes when they hire an employee or promote a worker to a certain level. After purchasing a business, a new employer may ask retained employees to sign as a requirement of continued employment. The goal of the noncompete agreement is to protect a business owner’s investment. However, these agreements restrict an employee’s ability to leverage talent and experience for greater compensation and to find future employment with another company. As one of New Jersey’s largest plaintiffs employment law firms, Deutsch Atkins, P.C. frequently advises clients in New York and New Jersey on matters pertaining to noncompete agreements.

When is a restrictive covenant valid and enforceable?

While many businesses choose not to enforce noncompete agreements, they do have a legal right to do so. To be enforceable, a noncompete agreement must:

  • Protect the legitimate interests of the employer
  • Not impose undue hardship on the employee
  • Not be injurious to the public

Courts decide if a noncompete agreement is reasonable and thus enforceable. Generally, discouraging competition alone is not sufficient reason to uphold a noncompete, since this prevents the public from benefiting from healthy corporate competition. Protecting trade secrets, confidential information and customer relationships are legitimate interests of the employer. When considering hardship on the employee, the courts review the scope of the geographic area, the subject matter and the duration of the agreement. Whether the employee quit or was terminated can also influence the court. Determining if the noncompete is injurious to the public can require extensive investigation to determine if the noncompete could affect the availability of goods or services and corporate R&D (research and development) investments, for example.

If an employee violates a noncompete agreement, the former employer can seek an injunction and damages. Either of these remedies could be financially disastrous for the former employee. Deutsch Atkins attorneys assist senior-level executives negotiating noncompete agreements as part of their employment contracts, and defends former employees accused of breaching their noncompetes.

Safeguard your right to work! Call Deutsch Atkins, P.C. today

The employment litigation lawyers at Deutsch Atkins, P.C. advise senior-level executives on restrictive covenants and vigorously defend against claims of breach. For a consultation with a noncompete agreement lawyer at Deutsch Atkins, P.C., call 551-245-8894 or contact us online.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey's premiere practitioners of employment and civil litigation. Mr. Atkins has also been included in the Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers* in Employment Litigation since 2005. Mr. Atkins believes employees have rights that should be aggressively pursued when an employer has wrongfully dealt…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

Robert  J.  Pantina Attorney Photo
Robert J. Pantina
Attorney

About Robert J. Pantina joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Pantina received his B.A. from Rider University in 2008. He received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Pantina interned for the Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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