Constructing & Defending:
Non-Compete / Non-Disclosure Agreements
The economic downturn starting back about 2007-2008 has resulted in 1,000’s of layoffs and “involuntary terminations” of countless, formerly productive, employees. The enforceability of employee restrictive covenants is a major issue for both such former employees and business owners.
“Restrictive Covenants,” more commonly known as non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, are designed to restrict the right of an employee to compete with their prior employer in a competing business, and almost always prohibits contact with prior clients, prior customers or any of the businesses’ prior business contacts. These restrictive covenants are often included as elements of employment agreements, compensation plans, stock options plans as well as “straight-up Non-Compete Agreements.” From the employee’s viewpoint, at the time of signing these various documents, the employee may not have fully thought-through future potential consequences that might arise following an involuntary termination or layoff. Once without a job and searching for new job opportunities, those who signed such covenants severely limit an employee’s right to accept a new job and earn a living.
On the other side of the equation, companies struggling to stay afloat in today’s economy, are trying to enforce restrictive covenants through inclusion in separation and severance agreements following termination.
It is complicated for both the employer and the former employee. Even where a restrictive covenant was not signed or is not in effect, a former employee may find future employment hampered by his or her responsibility to not reveal trade secrets of a former employer. But it gets more complicated! An individual person’s skills, skill sets, mental abilities, subjective business expertise obtained during the course of employment at ANY and ALL former employers cannot be said to be the property of the former employer(s), and therefore cannot be termed a legally protected trade secret.
Los Angeles Non Compete Litigation
The Law Offices of Jeffrey Williams has successfully litigated and resolved the enforceability of employment restrictive covenants for former employees, assuring our clients that they have the ability to seek future employment in business sectors that they are well-trained to me a valuable employee. If you are currently weighing the signing of a post-employment restrictive covenant connected to a separation and severance package, it would be worth your time to have the documents reviewed. Typically we can convince your soon-to-be “former employer” to follow through on the severance remuneration and keep windows of opportunity open to you as yo seek future employment.
For the business owners, We have substantial experience in litigation involving unfair competition by former employees; especially when former employees are using your business customer list as their new sales call list. We can aggressively protect your companies’ interest when company assets, and proprietary information are being used for gain to your detriment.
Protecting Your Business in Los Angeles, CA
It is given that during the course of doing business, valuable trade secrets, client lists, private information and other proprietary data is bound to be shared with certain employees and independent contractors involved with your business. It is business-critical to have drafted what is called a “Covenant Not To Compete” signed by each employee and contractor before such information is shared. A “Covenant Not To Compete” is also called a NCA “Non-Competitiveness Agreement,” or a NDA “Non-Disclosure Agreement.” These are legally binding company-critical documents to protect your business interests by forbidding the misuse or sharing of confidential company information, especially geared to protect your vital information from your business competitors.
Contact Business Attorney Jeffrey Williams to have specifically-tailored Covenant Not To Compete documents prepared to protect your business.