There is a great deal of competition in many industries today, especially when it comes to highly specialized or technical jobs. Many Las Vegas companies include non-compete agreements in their employment contracts as a way to keep competing markets from undercutting their profits. However, at the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., we understand that these types of agreements can result in employment lawsuits. If you have signed or are considering signing a contract with a non-compete clause, you should understand which terms are fair to avoid the possibility of contract litigation in the future.

You might think that non-complete clauses are unfair and limit your employment options when you leave a job. In some instances, this rings true. For example, states The Washington Post, a multitude of industries that typically would not include a non-compete clause now use them in their employment contracts, such as the restaurant industry. This could create a serious problem if a non-compete agreement you signed with one restaurant prevents you from leaving to work as a cook or server at a different restaurant.

On the other hand, non-compete agreements have been routinely used for years in jobs such as construction, finance and upper management. Non-competes that are fairly drafted may actually benefit both the company and the employee, by attracting higher-educated workers and giving them incentives to remain loyal to the company.

What makes a non-compete agreement fair? To benefit the company, one would prevent a former employee from taking the company’s customers or using the company’s trade secrets against it. However, to allow an employee to continue to work in his or her chosen profession, a non-compete clause should clearly state the amount of time, geographical area and type of work a former employee can or cannot work in after leaving the company. For example, a non-compete agreement could restrict you from developing a specific type of software that is similar to your former company’s for three years after leaving the company, or anywhere within the Las Vegas area for the specified period of time.

Non-compete agreements are not uncommon, but they should be fair to everyone involved. Visit our page for more information on employment contracts and business litigation.