Specializing in Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements in Texas (including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, Rockwall, and Tarrant and throughout the State)
Are Non-Competition Agreements Enforceable in Texas?
In Texas, a non-competition agreement must meet the following requirements to be enforceable:
(a) The covenant not to compete has to be part of an otherwise enforceable agreement; and
(b) Any restrictions as to time, geographical area and scope of activity must be reasonable and must not impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the employer.
–Texas Business & Commerce Code, Sec. 15.50
Is your employee’s non-compete agreement enforceable?
If you are an employee, is your non-compete agreement enforceable?
It may not matter…
Much has been said about the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Texas. A quick Google search reveals dozens of articles that discuss the ins and outs of Texas non-compete law and the circumstances under which a non-compete agreement may, or may not, be deemed enforceable by a Texas court.
Often, employers peruse these articles after a key employee leaves to work for an industry competitor. Suddenly, a non-compete clause included in an employment agreement 6 years ago (as an afterthought) undergoes considerable scrutiny in the hope of answering this question in the affirmative: is the non-compete agreement signed by the former employee enforceable?
At the end of the day, it may not matter.
The value a non-compete agreement provides to your business is directly proportionate to how the non-compete agreement is perceived by the employee who signed it. Does the employee view the non-compete agreement as a clumsy bluff, a speed bump or a nuclear weapon? This question is far more important than the question posed above because the employee’s perception will dictate their ultimate course of action and the overall impact on your business.
Despite this reality, most employers spend very little time or resources influencing employee perception. Rather, they choose to devote all of their resources to hiring lawyers to draft “enforceable” non-compete agreements, only to question their enforceability with each appellate-court decision rendered on the topic. Skilled drafting is important but, to an employee, actions speak louder than words on a page.
The lawyers at Hanshaw Kennedy Hafen, LLP routinely advise businesses of all sizes on how to develop and implement an arsenal of protective measures that serve to safeguard intangible assets and gain leverage if and when litigation ensues. Talk to us about how we can help your business minimize risks posed by unscrupulous competitors and rogue employees.
For employees, when you sign a non-competition, non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreement when you take a new job, it can make it hard for you to find another similar job if you quit or get fired in the future. If your employer asks you to sign a non-competition agreement, non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreement, let us help you make an educated decision before you sign your name on the dotted line. Additionally, if a former employer is trying to adversely affect your livelihood by attempting to enforce a restrictive covenant against you, our lawyers can evaluate the enforceability of your agreement and explain your options.
We have successfully represented hundreds of employees in fighting their non-compete agreements. Whether we persuade a court to invalidate a restrictive covenant altogether, or whether we roll up our sleeves and negotiate the best and least restrictive settlement for our clients, we put our clients in the best position to move on with their lives.
We are the Go-To Firm in North Texas When it Comes to the Protection of Trade Secrets
One of the most common problems a successful growing business faces is when their employees leave and take confidential and proprietary trade secret information with them to a competitor. We have successfully represented businesses of all sizes in immediately shutting down former employees who have chosen to steal our client’s trade secrets and put our client’s businesses in jeopardy. We can prepare an Application for Temporary Restraining Order and present it the Court within one or two days of initially meeting with our clients.
The Injunction process is complicated and requires meticulous attention to detail because the Courts deem injunctions to be “extraordinary relief.” However, over the years, we have fine-tuned our strategy and the way we effectively communicate our clients’ stories to Courts all over North Texas. Ultimately, we thrive on preserving our client’s competitive advantages in the marketplace. We constantly stay abreast of the ever-evolving case law pertaining to non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements.
Using the new Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act as a Sword for our Clients.
Recognizing the growing problem facing businesses when former employees attempt to steal customer lists, catalogs, formulas, designs, training materials and other trade secrets, the Texas Legislature recently enacted the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA). The new law went into effect on September 1, 2013 and our lawyers were among the first lawyers in Texas to successfully utilize the new statute to procure a Temporary Restraining Order on behalf of our clients against former employees who had taken our client’s trade secrets to a competing business.
As small business owners ourselves, we understand the blood, sweat and financial commitment it takes to build a successful business. It is this empathy that inspires our lawyers to vigorously fight to protect our clients’ businesses in Dallas, Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Allen, Lucas, Fairview, Parker, Denton, Flower Mound, Prosper, Aubrey, Paris, Bonham, Fort Worth and all throughout Texas.
To arrange for a consultation, please complete our short consultation form and a member of our offices will contact your personally or call (972) 731-6500. Hanshaw Kennedy Hafen, LLP law offices are located at 1415 Legacy Drive, Suite 350 Frisco, Texas 75034.