Typically, a covenant not to compete is when a Iowa 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". Signing such an agreement can either be a condition for being employed, or the employee may receive additional compensation for doing so.

When are Covenants not to Compete Unenforceable?

Whether or not a judge will conclude that the covenant is enforceable can be challenging to know beforehand. While the employer?s interests are significant, Iowa courts place great weight on an individual?s freedom to pursue the employment they want. Accordingly, courts have only upheld those agreements that they consider reasonable under the circumstances. Some provisions that courts have considered to be unreasonable include terms that last for an unusually long period of time or that cover a geographic around Cedar Falls that is unreasonably broad.

The agreements must also deal only with those competitors whose line of employment is reasonably related to the previous employer's. Finally, there must be a valid business interest which motivates the employer's mandating a covenant not to compete.

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

You might want to hire a Cedar Falls, Iowa lawyer to review the covenant before signing any provisions 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. An attorney can also give valuable advice when it comes to suing employees for breaching covenants, or counseling employees who have signed one regarding whether they can accept a different job.