Is a non-compete agreement enforceable?
In Maryland, if the terms of the non-compete agreement are reasonable then the Court will generally enforce the agreement. To determine what is reasonable, many factors need to be analyzed. Such as, what is the duration of the restriction? What is the geographic scope of the restriction? What is the scope of work that is being restricted? If the non-compete is narrowly tailored to protect the legitimate business needs of a company, and its terms are reasonable, then the Maryland courts will most likely enforce a non-compete agreement. If on the other hand, the non-compete is overbroad, seeks to restrict activities that are outside of the company’s business or geographic region, or is for too long of a time period, then the Court will not enforce the non-compete agreement.
What are the possible remedies for breaching a non-compete agreement?
If a company wants to take action against a former employee who is violating a non-compete agreement, then the company can hire an attorney to write a cease-and-desist letter asking the former employee to stop breaking the terms of the non-compete agreement. In addition, the company can take immediate legal against the former employee and ask the Court to enter an emergency order for injunctive relief against the former employee ordering him/her to stop violating the non-compete agreement. At a subsequent trial, the company may be awarded monetary damages caused by the former employee’s actions and the company may also be awarded their attorney’s fees if the non-compete agreement specifically allows the company to recover its attorney’s fees.
As knowledgeable employment law attorneys, we can help you navigate and figure out the best way to protect your business, trade secrets, and client base.
-Scott A. Mirsky