Late last year, I shared with you the “5 Key Components of a Non-Disclosure Agreement”. It’s an interesting read if you’ve ever been asked to sign one, especially in today’s labor market. This reader note doesn’t deal with non-disclosures, but something similar: non-compete agreements.
“Hello Sharlyn. My question is simply this: sometime during my wife’s 21+ years with a company she was asked, and did sign, a non-solicitation / non-compete agreement. She was recently let go, told due to company cutbacks. As she has been in this industry for over 21 years and the company let her go, it is my belief that the non-solicitation / non-compete agreements are now invalid as my wife was not the one asking to leave, and it is her line of work to be gainfully employed. Am I wrong? Is there a situation where she could be held to it?”
To offer some insights about these types of agreements, I asked employment attorney Donna Ballman to share her expertise. She’s helped us before with one of my favorite posts titled, “Can You Bring Your Mother to a Meeting With HR?” Donna’s work focuses on employee-side employment law issues, so whether you’re an employee or an HR pro, these insights will prove to be valuable.
Please remember that Donna’s comments should not be construed as legal advice or as pertaining to any specific factual situations. If you have detailed questions, they should be addressed directly with your friendly neighborhood employment law and labor attorney.
Donna, obviously we don’t know all of the details, but it would be good to talk about non-solicitation and non-compete agreements. Let’s start with some definitions. What’s a non-solicitation agreement and a non-compete agreement? Because it’s my understanding they’re not the same thing.
[Ballman] A non-solicitation agreement is one saying you won’t solicit the employer’s customers and/or employees for a set period of time. A non-compete agreement says you won’t work for a competitor for a set period of time. That period can be from weeks to years.
In your experience, why do organizations ask employees to sign these types of agreements? And are there situations when an agreement is unenforceable? Read more here…
Source: hr bartender