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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

Q:
My former employee is now working for my competitor, in violation of our New York non-compete agreement. What are my options?

A:

When companies entrust key employees with valuable information relating to the business and invest substantial time and money training them, it seems understandable that they would want to impose a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements in New York, however, are generally disliked by the courts. Courts are reluctant to impose restrictions on employees that keep them from being able to earn a paycheck and put their skills to good use. As a result, you may have some difficulty enforcing your non-compete agreement. If your former employee is violating the terms of a non-compete, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Contact a New York non-compete lawyer right away for guidance. Since the former employee may have had access to highly confidential information, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your legal rights.
  2. Consider whether the employee was a “key” employee with a unique skill set. Will it be difficult to replace him or her?
  3. Consider whether it is worth pursuing a temporary restraining order to block the former employee from going to work for your competitor.
  4. Assess whether you have legitimate business interests that will be substantially harmed unless the restraining order is enforced. Will your business suffer immediate and irreparable harm?
  5. Gather copies of the contract and all related documentation.
  6. Consider the new employer’s role in the situation. Did that entity interfere with your relationship with the employee while he or she still worked for you?

For even more helpful questions and tips surrounding a breach of a non-compete in New York, contact an experienced New York non-compete attorney today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a consultation.