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Five areas to consider before signing a non-compete agreement

Employers will ask approximately 18% of workers in Texas to sign a non-compete contract or covenant. There are some common pitfalls you will want to watch for in the way that non-compete agreements are written. Generally, Texas court systems will consider five areas if the employer claims you are breaking a non-compete agreement.

Geographical location

Most non-compete covenants ban you from starting a business in the same field or working for one within a particular geographical location. Ensure that the distance stated in the deal is a reasonable one.

Time period

The non-compete agreement should state a specific period that will apply after you leave the company. Ensure this is within your industry’s standards, often six months.

Interest to the general public

Judges want to know if this is more than just a dispute between company officials. Therefore, they will generally only hear cases involving public interest.

Potential harm

Before you sign a non-compete agreement, it should identify what harm the employer foresees if you do not sign the agreement. If the case ends up in court, then the burden of proof is only on the employer to prove that they have suffered damages.

Impact on the employee

Some judges will consider the impact that breaking the non-compete agreement will have on the employee. Others do not seem to care. Still, it is something to consider before signing the agreement.

Employers often require employees to sign non-compete agreements but workers think about the future implications of the covenant before signing. If you believe that the terms of the non-compete are unfair, speak up.