Restrictive Covenant Conflicts
Our attorneys represent professionals and employers
Many employment contracts contain restrictive covenants designed to protect a company’s best interests and to avoid potential legal disputes. Unfortunately, such legal agreements sometimes have the opposite effect, resulting in conflicts between employers and employees, including sometimes in-house attorneys.
Our lawyers at Eller Tonnsen Bach, LLC know how to deal with such complex legal cases. That’s because we have years of business litigation experience representing professionals and corporations in South Carolina and North Carolina. As your attorney, we can thoroughly investigate your case and build the strongest possible legal defense. You can count on us when it matters most.
What is a restrictive covenant?
A restrictive covenant is legal term used to describe any clause or restriction listed in an employment contract. In such cases, an employee who signs such a contract agrees abide by the restrictive clauses in the contract. Examples of restrictive covenants include:
- Non-Compete Agreements
- Agreement to not disclose private, proprietary information, including information related to trade secrets.
- Agreement to not work for a competing company for a specified period of time.
- Agreement to not create a competing company for a specified period of time.
Restrictive covenants and the disputes that arise out of them can cover a wide range. Whatever the circumstances of your legal matter, it’s critical to understand your rights and legal obligations. That’s why it’s important to talk to a lawyer familiar with this area of law.
What happens if you break a restrictive covenant?
The penalties for violating a restrictive covenant can cover a wide range. Depending on the nature of the covenant, penalties can include:
- Financial restitution to the affected party.
- Punitive fines.
- Termination of employment.
- Civil or criminal charges in certain circumstances.
The stakes can be very high when it comes to such legal matters. Don’t underestimate the complexity or the severity of such allegations. Make sure you consult with a lawyer familiar with this area of the law to learn more about your rights and available legal options.
Can you get rid of a restrictive covenant?
Depending on the circumstances of your restrictive covenant, you may be able to negotiate or amend an existing employment contract and have a restrictive covenant removed. Other times, restrictive clauses may not ultimately apply if they are found to not be in compliance with applicable state or federal laws.
It’s important to note than restrictive covenant clauses often can only be enforced against an ex-employee if the clause protects legitimate business interests and reasonably protects such interests. If a restrictive clause goes beyond these bounds (if there are no proprietary business interests at stake, for example), such a clause may not withstand a legal challenge.
An attorney well versed in restrictive employment covenants can review an existing or proposed employment agreement and explain the options available to you or your company. That way, you can make informed decisions based on the facts.
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Knowledge, expertise and a strong work ethic matter when it comes to choosing a lawyer to handle your legal case. We also believe it’s important to hire a lawyer with tenacity and a strong track record of success. Our law firm takes great pride consistently delivering measurable results to clients. That’s why we’re the firm that businesses, professionals and other lawyers choose to represent them.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule an appointment at one of our three office locations in South Carolina and North Carolina. We can review the employment contract in question and advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s challenging or defending a restrictive covenant. You can count on us.