When you start a new job, you are often asked to sign numerous documents. Sometimes, they are all combined in one document, which is simply known as your employment contract. A non-compete agreement may be included in this paperwork, either as a clause in the employment contract or as a separate document.
A non-compete agreement is a contract that a company uses to protect its investment in the employee. A non-compete agreement bars the employee from working with the company’s competitors for a specified period of time after he or she leaves the company. Writing a non-compete agreement that is fair for both the company and the employee can be difficult and can require intervention from an experienced Appleton non-compete agreement lawyer.
Although each non-compete agreement is unique, they generally a time period following the employee’s termination that he or she may not work with a competitor, which is defined by:
For example, you may be barred from working with a competing company within 50 miles of Appleton for six months following your termination. If you violate the terms of your non-compete agreement, your employer can file a lawsuit against you known as an injunction, which legally prohibits you from seeking work that violates the agreement.
In Wisconsin, non-compete agreements are enforceable. However, they must comply with the requirements included in state law. These requirements include the following:
As you can see, there are no requirements set in stone for non-compete agreements in Wisconsin. Rather, it is up to the court to determine whether a particular agreement’s requirements are reasonable or not, which depends on the employee’s industry, the community he or she serves, and other unique factors. To better determine whether the non-compete agreement you are facing is fair, have an experienced employment lawyer go over it with you. He or she can determine if any of the requirements in the agreement can be negotiated to create a more fair agreement for you.
If you have been asked to sign a non-compete agreement, speak with an experienced Appleton business & civil litigation lawyer. Contact our team at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with our firm, during which we can determine the best way for you to proceed with your non-compete agreement. Do not blindly sign all documents you are handed. Instead, work with an employment lawyer to determine whether your document is fair before you move forward.