In general, covenants not to compete involve an employee in the state of Maine who agrees not to work for competitors of their employer when they leave the company. Such covenants are frequently called "non-compete" clauses". Signing such an agreement may 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 a given judge will enforce a non-compete agreement is difficult to know in advance. While employer's interest are significant, the courts of Maine also put a high level of importance on a person's ability to pursue their desired employment opportunities. Consequently, a court will generally only uphold non-compete clauses which under the circumstances are considered to be reasonable. 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 Augusta that is unreasonably broad.

Covenants must also be limited to restricting dealings with those competitors that are rationally related to the employer?s industry. Lastly, there must be a legitimate 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 may want to hire a Augusta, Maine 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. Attorneys can provide valuable counseling to employers who are considering suing an employer who breached a covenant not to compete. They can also assist employees who have signed an agreement limiting their employment options.