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Noncompete Agreements

Noncompete Agreements

These days it is not just business executives who have issues with non-compete agreements. More and more companies are requiring managers and even non-managerial employees to sign non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants that prohibit a departing employee from going to work for a competitor or trying to persuade clients to follow them. When they first join a new company, most employees don't think about how such agreements can limit their livelihoods or hinder their career when they leave the company, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Frequently, the effects and impact of non-compete agreements only becomes evident when an employee leaves their employer and begins looking for new opportunities in the same field.

Some employees incorrectly believe that non-competes aren't enforceable or that employers do not try to enforce them. In fact, non-competes are enforceable in Washington and employers can and frequently sue employees who violate such agreements. In Washington, a judge decides whether a company can enforce a non-compete agreement and to what extent enforcement would be "reasonable." A court's response to a claim seeking enforcement of a non-compete agreement generally depends on many factors including the nature of the industry involved, the length of time that the non-compete is in effect, and the geographical scope of the restrictions.

Employees are well advised to understand what they are signing onto before they sign a non-compete agreement. A departing employee who receives a letter from his or her former employer threatening to enforce a non-compete or other restrictive covenant should take such a letter seriously and immediately seek legal advice. Losing a non-compete case can mean losing your new job, months of unemployment, and the prospect of paying many thousands of dollars to the employer and in some cases its attorneys.

Our Experience

Frank Freed Subit & Thomas has represented hundreds of executives and other employees who have been sued for non-compete or other restrictive covenant violations, or were concerned that they may be sued. Our firm has defeated motions for temporary restraining orders and motions for preliminary injunctions that would remove employees from their positions. We have litigated numerous non-compete cases to a successful conclusion and negotiated an agreement beneficial to our clients. We also provide advice and counseling to employees and executives facing non-compete agreement issues and frequently can secure more favorable terms for our clients.

Seattle Employment & Labor Lawyers Contact Frank Freed Subit & Thomas LLP Today!

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