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Is a New York Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable? Points to Consider

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High-level executives leaving their companies are often asked to sign to a New York non-compete agreement as part of their severance or retirement package. A recent example is the exit of General Electric Vice Chairman John Krenicki. Under his non-compete agreement, Krenicki will receive $89,000 per month through the year 2022 in exchange for his agreement not to work for any GE competitor anywhere in the world for the next three years. 

Krenicki has accepted a position with a company that does not compete with GE. However, should this job not work out for whatever reason, Krenicki will still be bound by the terms of his agreement with GE as he looks for a new position.

When non-compete agreements are challenged in court, judges assess them to determine whether the New York non-compete language is reasonable. If it is deemed unreasonable, the agreement will be unenforceable. Generally, the court will consider the following when making its decision:

Does the non-compete agreement protect the legitimate interest of the company, or does it go beyond what is necessary?

  • Is the non-compete agreement overly broad? 
  • Is the non-compete agreement unfair to the individual?
  • Is the non-compete agreement “injurious to the public”?
  • Is the non-compete agreement reasonable and limited, in terms of the time period and its geographic scope?

If you have any questions concerning a non-compete agreement you entered into with a company, a New York non-compete lawyer can help assess whether a court might find the provision reasonable.

If you have entered into a non-compete agreement with your former employer, it is essential that you consult an experienced New York non-compete agreement attorney before taking any action that could potentially violate that restriction. Our office is here to help. Call us today at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation. 

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