Restrictive covenants are becoming increasingly common in the modern workplace. In the ideal situation, a restrictive covenant protects a company from investing in an employee only for that employee to turn around and use their investment against them. However, when these covenants are too far-reaching or unreasonable, they can prevent an employee from finding gainful employment. At Maya Murphy, we represent both employees and employers in disputes and negotiations regarding restrictive covenants.
Connecticut Non-Compete Agreements
The most common type of restrictive covenant is part of an employment contract that bars the employee from competing with the employer after he or she leaves the company. These are also referred to as non-competes. In Connecticut, there are five factors that affect the enforceability of a non-compete:
- The length of time the employee is restricted from specific activities;
- The area in which he or she is prohibited from taking part in these activities;
- If the protection accorded to the employers is fair;
- How much the non-compete restricts the employee’s ability to pursue an occupation; and
- Interference with the public interest.
If the restrictive covenant is found to violate any of these five factors, Connecticut courts may invalidate it.
New York Restrictive Covenants
In New York, the courts have not established specific criteria for the enforceability of these covenants. Instead, the agreement can be “rigorously examined” by a court to determine if it is reasonable in terms of time, space, and scope as well as being not oppressive in its operation. Each case is considered independently.
What Should I Do if I Have Already Signed a Restrictive Covenant?
Ideally, you should always consult with a lawyer who has experience in this particular area of employment law in the state where you are working before signing any documents. However, if you have already signed a non-compete and are now having issues after leaving that company, finding the right attorney is the first step toward evaluating your options. At Maya Murphy we help employees challenge unreasonable non-competes that are impeding their ability to work in both New York and Connecticut.
What if My Former Employee Is in Violation of a Non-Compete?
The employment lawyers at Maya Murphy also assist employers with drafting non-competes that are enforceable and with pursuing legal action when they are violated.
If you have concerns about a restrictive covenant in New York or Connecticut, contact Maya Murphy today. With offices in both states, our clients can be found throughout Connecticut and New York, including Bridgeport, Stamford, Newark, and Manhattan.