Our firm focuses on employment contract issues. These are matters in which clients work with us to determine their rights concerning employment contracts and agreements.
We are not available to represent or advise clients on tort matters which may include issues relating to wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, etc. These cases are ruled by statutes that are on the cutting-edge of law and are frequently evolving, so we refer them to attorneys who are employment law specialists.
If you are looking for counsel or representation for any employment contract need, our firm is highly experienced in handling these matters and would be pleased to offer our services and expertise. Whether you are looking for help with preparing or reviewing a contract, handling a contract dispute, or evaluating your rights under a contract, our firm is here to help.
If Someone Is Terminated From A Position And They Had Signed A Non-Compete Agreement. Are They Still Bound To That Non-Compete?
Answers to questions regarding non-compete agreements are highly dependent on the specific details of any given case. It is of utmost importance to thoroughly review these agreements to understand the obligations they entail.
It is becoming more common for courts in states across the U.S., including Arizona, to hold an unfavorable view toward these agreements as they can effectively chill a person’s ability to earn a living.
Because of all the factors involved, it is important to take a close look at the variables in play. These variables can include some of the following:
Type of Employment: Courts will be far less likely to enforce a non-compete agreement for a minimum wage employee than, say, a CEO. Minimum wage employees are not commonly in a position to negotiate their employment contracts, and the court usually views that it is important to protect their right to work within their field.
A CEO, on the other hand, is very often in a position of power when negotiating the terms of their employment agreements. Additionally, these high-level employees may represent a specific threat to their employer because of their specialized skills and ability, as well as their insider understanding of the inner workings of the company. Due to these factors, a court would likely be more inclined to enforce these employment agreements.
Scope of Geography: Non-compete agreements may specify the area that a former employee may not work within. This can include specifications such as: “Within a 10-mile radius of the business”; “Within Maricopa County”; or “Within the state of Arizona”.
Scope of Employment Type: Non-compete agreements may specify the type of employment that a former employee may not work within. This dictates what is and is not considered to be competition.
Scope of Time: Non-compete agreements may specify the timeframe within which a former employee is under contractual obligation to the agreement. The term may apply for any period such as: one year, five years, etc.
The more specific a non-compete agreement is, the more likely a court may be willing to enforce it. If the agreement is very limited in scope and sets limits within a smaller radius, it is more enforceable.
For example, a non-compete agreement with terms prohibiting work within HR-specific software in Maricopa County for six months would be more enforceable than an agreement prohibiting work within the entire software industry in the state of Arizona for six years.
It’s easy to understand why every aspect of each agreement has to be evaluated to find clear answers as to whether or not they may be enforceable.
Some other practical questions to consider may be:
- How seriously do you think your former employer will attempt to enforce the non-compete agreement?
- Are you aware of your former employer attempting to enforce non-compete agreements in the past?
- Have you informed your new employer of the non-compete agreement?
- If the non-compete agreement were to become an issue, would your new employer be willing to defend you?
There are many moving parts and considerations to make when handling these cases. It is never too early or too late to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure that you are protected as you move forward.
For more information on Employment Law In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 526-5597 today.