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What Are Non-Compete Agreements In The Workplace?

Has your new boss asked you to sign a non-compete agreement before you start a new job? Or has your employer tried to prevent you from taking a new job by citing non-compete agreements? Here is what you need to know.

What Are Non-Compete Agreements?

Also known as covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants, non-compete agreements are contracts that many companies use to limit who a former employee can work for. Non-compete agreements are enforceable or not enforceable. An enforceable covenant is one in which the employee cannot work for a competitor, thereby protecting the employer. If a non-compete agreement is found to be non-enforceable, the employee may work for anyone they desire.

Non-Compete Agreements Benefit The Employer, Not The Employee

Employers sometimes require non-compete agreements to prevent their employees from going to work for their competitors – and from taking sensitive business information with them. Enforceable non-compete agreements strike a healthy balance between protecting the employer against losing valuable business information and protecting the worker’s right to work in the field in which they are trained. Enforceable restrictive covenants can protect the company’s legitimate business concerns, such as trade secrets or customer relationships. Non-compete agreements can have negative effects on former employees when the contracts prevent the workers from finding a new job in their field without having to move far away. In some cases, the non-compete agreements unfairly restrict the employee from working, leaving the worker no choice but to dispute the contract.

How Kansas Courts Decide Non-Compete Agreements

During disputes, it is up to the courts to decide whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable and enforceable. According to Kansas law, non-compete agreements are enforceable if the terms are reasonable and necessary to protect legitimate business interests. The judge typically reviews the type and size of the business, the amount of time the restrictions apply, the size of the geographic area included in the covenant, and whether the agreement gave the employee adequate benefits at the time it was signed. Kansas courts must consider four factors when determining the reasonableness of the non-compete agreement:
  1. Whether it protects the company’s interest
  2. Whether the agreement creates an undue hardship for the former employee
  3. Whether the non-compete could pose a risk to public safety
  4. Whether the time and territorial restrictions are reasonable, considering the specific circumstances and facts
To ensure the best outcome possible against big companies with deep pockets, many workers benefit from having an experienced employment attorney on their side. The laws surrounding non-compete agreements can be complex, and without quality legal advice, these employees may not gain the freedom to work for whatever company they want.

Contact Dugan Schlozman If You’re Facing An Employment Issue

If your new job requires that you sign a non-compete agreement, or if your employer is charging you with breaking your existing non-compete agreement, consult with Dugan Schlozman. Our employment attorney is highly experienced in navigating non-compete agreements and other aspects of employment law, and we can help you understand your legal rights when it comes to your job. We are the employment lawyer Kansas employees rely on. Non-Compete Agreements

Our Location

Dugan Schlozman LLC
8826 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 307
Overland Park, KS 66212

6320 Brookside Plaza, #243
Kansas City, MO 64113

Phone: 913.374.6351
Fax: 913.904.0213

Mark Dugan: [email protected]
Heather Schlozman: [email protected]