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What is a noncompete agreement?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2021 | Employment Law |

Finding a job in these uncertain economic times is certainly a great moment for New York residents. However, in their zeal to being earning again, they should not overlook the fine print in their employment contract and thoroughly understand what it is they are signing on for. A noncompete agreement is one clause many may unknowingly sign up for.

Noncompete clause or agreement

A clause between an employee and employer, it restricts the employee from working for a business that competes with the current employer’s business. They are also called restrictive covenants. While the aim is to prevent employees from working for a competitor for a certain amount of time in a specific geographic area, it can often be unnecessarily restrictive and prevent an employee from being able to earn a living. While the idea is to protect an employer’s legitimate interests, such as trade secrets and customer information, an employer cannot simply prevent an employee from taking their skills and abilities to another company.

Do I have to sign a noncompete agreement?

While it is not necessary to sign a noncompete agreement, employers may rescind the job offer if one does not. Whether their ability to deny one a job based on this is legal or not depends on the circumstances of each case.

It is difficult to go against an employer, especially when the job is so coveted. However, in order to ensure one’s rights are being protected, it can be helpful to consult an experienced employment law attorney to assess if the agreement is reasonable or not and how to go about negotiating a fairer one.