Q.Are non-compete agreements enforceable?
A.Generally speaking, yes. Although the courts have traditionally frowned upon restrictions placed by employers on their employees' right to find and make a living, the courts will generally enforce non-competition agreements if:
- the employer proves that it has a legitimate business interest to protect by restricting its employees' right to compete against it (e.g., company trade secrets such as customer lists);
- the restriction on the employee's right to compete is no greater than that necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interest (limited in time, scope, and geography); and
- the covenant not to compete is supported by consideration, meaning that the employee received something in exchange for it.
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