Usually, a covenant not to compete is when a Delaware employee agrees not to work for an employer's competitors when the employee leaves the company. Covenants not to compete are also known as "non-compete clauses". An employee who signs them either does so as a condition to employment or they may receive compensation for the agreement.

When are Covenants not to Compete Unenforceable?

Knowing in advance whether a judge will enforce an employee's non-compete clause can be challenging. Even if the employee's interests may be important Delaware courts will certainly assign great weight to a person's freedom to choose the type of employment that is suitable for them. Accordingly, only those covenants which are deemed to be reasonable will be upheld by the court. Some agreements that courts have considered to be unreasonable include terms that last for an unusually long period of time or that cover a geographic around Elsmere that is unreasonably broad.

The agreements must also deal only with those competitors whose line of employment is rationally related to the previous employer's. Lastly, the employer must have a valid business interest behind its motivation for mandating a covenant not to compete.

Do I Need an Attorney when Dealing with a Covenant not to Compete?

You may want to hire a Elsmere, Delaware lawyer to review the covenant before signing any agreements that may limit or restrict your rights. The lawyer will then be able to negotiate any modifications to the contract as needed, or they can even draft a new one should it be required by one or both parties. Employers can receive useful advice from an attorney should they decide to sue a worker for breaching a covenant, and employees who have signed such covenants can also benefit from a lawyer's counseling.