Q: What should I do if I entered into a New York non-compete agreement that is overly broad?
Non-compete agreements in New York are frequently used when a high-level employee leaves his current employer. These agreements typically favor the employer, since they limit the employee’s ability to earn a living using his or her unique skills and experience. For this reason, New York courts will find these agreements unenforceable if the provisions are unreasonable. One way in which they can be held to be unreasonable is if the non-compete is overly broad. If you suspect that your agreement is too broad, it is vital that you take the following steps to protect your legal rights:
- Contact an experienced New York non-compete lawyer for guidance. The law in this area is complex and requires the expertise of a qualified professional to ensure that your rights are properly protected.
- Obtain copies of the agreement and all supporting documentation.
- Consider whether the geographic scope of the agreement in comparison to the time limitation imposed are overly broad. For example, an agreement that has a geographic scope of 300 miles may still be considered reasonable if the time limitation imposed by the agreement is short, such as six months. Similarly, an agreement with a geographic scope of only 100 miles may be considered unreasonable if the time limitation imposed is long, such as 10 years.
- Do not take any action that would violate the non-compete agreement in New York until you have consulted with your attorney.
The enforceability of a non-compete agreement will depend on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your contract. Every non-compete agreement is assessed upon these individual facts. To learn more about the reasonableness of your particular agreement, contact an experienced New York non-compete agreement attorney. Call our office today at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.