Steps Employers Can Take - Non-Compete Agreement | Mann & Elias  

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Steps Employers Can Take When Employees Violate a Non-Compete Agreement

You have the right to job hop – and signing away that right can seem like an unfair advantage to you. It may not be what your employer intended, but that is essentially what a non-compete agreement is. With such an ever changing economy, companies are trying to figure out ways to re-invent themselves and boost their profits. In doing so, many employers try to get employees to sign a non-compete agreement to prohibit actions like working for a competitor. If these agreements are uncommon to you, a Los Angeles workplace lawyer can provide you with a better understanding of how it works. Read on for an overview of what might occur if you violate the terms of your contract.

An Economic Shift: Working from Home

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of us are working from home and contributing to a new “work-from-home economy.” 42% of the U.S. labor force are now working from their homes full-time, according to Stanford News. As Californians work remotely and out of state, one might likely encounter a non-compete agreement.

Non-compete agreements are between two parties. One party is agreeing not to compete against another party within the same industry. The business you work for will determine the scope, duration, and restrictions of the agreement. Additionally, you might find language in your contract prohibiting you from soliciting existing clients of the employment business as well – it is a form of competition.

What Happens When the Employee Relationship Ends?

When you quit or get terminated by the company, the non-compete agreement will take effect. Before you depart, your employer might remind you of your obligations for the next few years. Before signing and before leaving the company, retain a non-compete agreement lawyer in Los Angeles to ensure that you understand your obligations to the employer. He/she has every right to pursue a lawsuit if the agreement gets violated before it expires.

During the exit interview, an employer will stress the importance of the agreement. If you, for example, pursued employment with a competitor or plan on starting a business, the situation can get complicated. Especially if the company knew of your actions before letting you go. Be wary of retaliation and the possibilities of wrongful termination. Just as they can hold you accountable, you should be able to as well, with the help of an employment lawyer in LA. Keep in mind, if they have prior knowledge of your actions, and you fail to disclose this information to them during the exit interview, it can be used as evidence to challenge your credibility in a lawsuit.

Protecting Customer Relationships

When you officially depart from the company, avoid keeping in touch with customers. An employer will take preventative measures to protect the customer relationship. For instance, the business will notify clients and explain that you are no longer with the company. They will provide them with the new contact information of a designated point person and initiate an introduction. It deters the client from reaching out to you moving forward.

Contacting the New Employer

We strongly advise you to adhere to the contractual agreement. Avoid working for the competitor until it expires; If your former boss finds out that you have a job with the competition, they will reach out to your current or prospective boss to explain that you violated your contractual obligations. Not only will it alert the employer, but it can also cost you your employment. Before immediate actions get made, the company will gather a team of non-compete agreement violation attorneys in LA to gather information about your role and compare it to your previously held position. It might be best to seek legal counsel if you have not already.

Cease and Desist: Stop Immediately

Your former employer can send a cease-and-desist lawyer to you to indicate that you are violating the agreement. The letter reiterates a summary of the contract and acts as a final warning. Depending on the nature of their actions, it may list damages that the business can pursue in court if you do not stop violating the order.

Resolutions for Unforeseen Disputes

The last thing anyone wants to do is go to court. Under normal circumstances, a lawyer for non-compete agreement violations in LA tries to settle immediately. The plaintiff’s legal team will try to do so before litigation, like arbitration or mediation. Your previous employer will try to come to a solution that works for everyone involved. Keep in mind that they will always put their best interests first.

Litigation

When they have exhausted all other options to settle, the employer will file a lawsuit against you. With the help of their attorney, who is well-versed in common law and the statutory requirements of a non-compete agreement, they will build a strong case against you.

To avoid the risk of damages, always review your agreement with a legal professional before signing upon hire. It might be beneficial in the long run if you pursue a job elsewhere, in a different state, or perhaps start your own.

Reach Out to A Trusted Non-Compete Agreement Attorney

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems in lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases, an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel that they are at a great disadvantage in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com.

 

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