When an employer and employee enter into a non-compete agreement, it can sometimes be difficult for the employer to block its former employee from breaching the contract. In New York, the courts tend to disfavor non-compete agreements. Instead, they aim for a free market economy that allows for employees to change jobs as they need or want to. In some instances, however, such as when a key employee leaves to go work for a competitor, a non-compete agreement in New York may be enforceable.
In a recent lawsuit, Supervalu sued a former executive in an attempt to prevent him from working for a competitor. The company alleges that the former employee is in breach of its 12-month non-compete agreement. If this lawsuit were brought in New York, the company could potentially block its former employee from breaching the agreement. To do so, however, it would have to demonstrate several key factors. Questions a court would consider include:
- Is the employee’s replacement impossible?
- Is the employee considered “unique,” and a “key” employee?
- Is the employee’s breach of the non-compete agreement resulting in actual loss of business or clients?
- Is the employee’s new job resulting in ongoing damage to the company’s operations, reputation, or goodwill?
- Did the employee have intricate knowledge of the company’s business operations?
In any breach of contract matter, it is vital that you have the guidance of a professional in your corner to protect your legal rights. Contact an experienced New York non-compete lawyer today for more information. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.