Many employers use non-solicitation agreements to avoid facing what they believe is unfair competition from current or former employees. However, a non-solicitation agreement could present big obstacles to furthering your career. Any type of restriction that limits where and how you can acquire new business can be detrimental to your livelihood.
Although they are sometimes enforceable, some non-solicitation agreements are too restrictive to be valid. These agreements may necessitate assistance from a qualified employment attorney to negate.
Our lawyers have experience in negotiating non-solicitation agreements prior to being signed and if necessary, going to court to have them declared illegal. Using a Nashville non-solicitation agreement lawyer could help you ensure that your agreement is legal, fair, and enforceable.
Many employers do not want employees to use their working relationships or access to confidential information for their own personal advantage. Likewise, many employees have access to confidential information and contacts that could become a threat to an employer’s success if those resources are taken away from the business.
For these reasons, you may be asked to sign a non-solicitation agreement at any time during the course of your employment. A non-solicitation agreement is a restrictive covenant similar to a general non-compete agreement or a non-disclosure agreement.
By signing a non-solicitation agreement, you essentially agree to refrain from contacting your employer’s clients, customers, or employees. Sometimes these agreements are not enforceable, however, especially if your continued employment is dependant on signing these documents.
In this digital age, solicitation can take on countless forms. The use of electronic communication and social media is so pervasive sometimes employees unknowingly violate the terms of non-solicitation agreements by using these platforms to communicate.
The text of a non-solicitation agreement should specifically define prohibited solicitation. This definition determines what types of communication are not allowed and usually includes any communication or correspondence by oral, written, or electronic means, including via social media.
If you are unsure about anything related to your agreement, one of our Nashville non-solicitation agreement attorneys could go over with you what your agreement explicitly prohibits and ensure those prohibitions are fair and reasonable.
As a general rule in Tennessee, the courts disfavor restrictions on trade like non-solicitation agreements. Despite their unpopularity, however, they will be enforced if the terms—specifically, those related to the geographic scope and duration of the agreement—are reasonable.
There is no universal rule used to establish what reasonable terms for a non-solicitation agreement look like. For example, in some cases, a duration of three years may be upheld, while in other cases only a few months would be construed as reasonable.
The courts may also look to whether the agreement in question protects a legitimate business interest and the hardship imposed on a Nashville-area employee to protect that interest.
If necessary, a lawyer could work to challenge restrictions in your non-solicitation agreement that are not necessary to protect your employer’s business interest or argue the agreement should be invalidated by the court.
Employees have the right to challenge a non-solicitation agreement in court. Conversely, if an employer has reason to think an employee is violating a non-solicitation agreement, they would likely pursue an injunction to cease the conduct in violation of the contract.
Either way, you will benefit from working with a non-solicitation agreement attorney in Nashville who could advocate on your behalf.
If you have questions about the consequences of entering into a non-solicitation agreement or are being sued for allegedly violating a non-solicitation agreement, do not wait before contacting an attorney. We could work to protect you from unfair treatment in Nashville, but only if you elect to retain our services when it comes to finalizing your non-solicitation agreement.
It is standard to take time to obtain a Nashville non-solicitation agreement lawyer to review your situation. Call today to get started on the process of reviewing your non-solicitation agreement.