Navigating the complex world of non-compete agreements is challenging but the non-compete attorneys at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP can help business owners and employees handle all matters related to Texas non-compete law. Our non compete lawyers are experienced with issues that arise concerning any form of employment contract or employment agreement.
BERG PLUMMER JOHNSON & RAVAL, LLP Nationally Recognized Business Litigation Attorneys
The Texas non compete lawyers at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP have successfully litigated non-compete claims on behalf of employers and individuals from start to finish. At Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, we prioritize fostering a strong attorney-client relationship, so that we can best understand and serve your needs related to Texas law and non-compete agreements. We can explain the entire process – including the litigation’s timeframe and potential financial burden. We collaborate with clients to create fee structures that are uniquely suited to each situation.
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements in Texas
What is a Non-Compete Clause?
A non-compete clause in a contract or legal agreement states that an employee is not permitted to compete with their employer once their job has ended. Non-compete clauses forbid someone with access to sensitive information from working for a company that is in direct competition with their existing employer. Additionally, these agreements forbid current and departing employees from disclosing confidential or proprietary information to any third party.
Many contracts provide a period of time after an employee’s employment ends during which they are prohibited from working for a rival or founding a competing business. Some even contain geographic restrictions. In order to maintain their position in the market, employers may demand that employees sign non-compete agreements. These agreements may be signed by consultants, contractors, and employees.
Depending on the jurisdiction, the former employer may be required to continue paying the ex-employee a base wage during the non-compete term in order for the non-compete to be legitimate and enforced.
Safeguarding Your Business with Valid Texas Non-Compete Agreements
Because Texas law governing contracts is ever-evolving, a non-competition agreement must be carefully crafted by a qualified business attorney who is knowledgeable about the current legal developments surrounding non-competes, non-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. Our Texas non-compete lawyers offer guidance to employers, corporations, and employees as they form and analyze these contracts.
The non-compete attorneys at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval understand that it is critical to safeguard your business, its clientele, and confidential information from ex-employees who might utilize proprietary information to unjustly compete with you at another organization. This protection can be offered by a well-written non-competition agreement that remains valid by preserving the former employee’s employment rights.
A well-written non-competition agreement remains valid by preserving the former employee’s employment rights.
Texas courts are becoming unwilling to uphold non-compete agreements that are too strict. Our lawyers help business owners make reasonable restrictions to your employment contracts, so they enforceable. These non-compete contracts frequently contain additional nondisclosure and/or other confidentiality clauses that could face the same level of judicial scrutiny.
Are All Employees Required to Sign a Non-Compete?
While an employer cannot force you to sign a non-compete agreement, if you decline, they may fire you or decide not to hire you.
So, no, employees can never be required to sign a non-compete, but not doing so may result in losing a job or not being hired for that specific position. In drafting and reviewing a non-compete clause, it is important to know what restrictions are allowed that keep the agreement enforceable.
Is a Non-Compete Enforceable in Texas?
In Texas, a non-compete agreement is enforceable provided it is justified by legitimate business interest and reasonable in terms of the amount of time, the geographical area it covers, and the scope of activity it restricts. A non-compete clause can be used by a Texas employer to safeguard proprietary information and goodwill.
Understanding the Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements in Texas
When it comes to the enforcement of non-compete agreements, almost every state takes a slightly different stance. Texas law generally opposes agreements and contracts that limit employee movement. Every agreement or plan “in restriction of trade or commerce is prohibited,” according to the Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act of 1983.
However, according to Texas Law, a non-compete covenant is only enforceable if it is part of an otherwise enforceable agreement (and not a separate contract), contains reasonable limitations in time, geography, and work activity, and does not limit competition. Does the agreement serve a legitimate business interests of the employer, such as the need to preserve trade secrets? Does the non-compete agreement have a reasonable time limit? What is the geographic scope of the non-compete agreement? What are the geographical limits restricted to? Whether or not a non-compete is enforceable will depend on the answers to these questions and more.
Contact the Texas Non-Compete Lawyers at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP
If you’re in Texas and dealing with issues regarding non-compete agreements, reach out to the experienced Houston attorneys at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP. Our team understands the intricacies of Texas law, the Texas Supreme Court and can provide you with the legal advice you need to protect your rights. Call (713) 526-0200 or fill out our online form to find out your legal options.