In general, covenants not to compete involve an employee in the state of Michigan 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?

Foreseeing whether or not a judge will uphold a covenant not to compete is typically difficult. Although the interests of employers are important, courts in Michigan also give priority to an employee's freedom to choose the type of employment that they desire. As a result, courts usually uphold only those covenants that are consider to be reasonable according to the circumstances. Those provisions that courts have seen to be unreasonable include those that last for an prolonged period of time or cover geographic areas around East Grand Rapids that are unreasonably large.

Non-compete clauses are also limited in that they can only apply to competitors who are reasonably related to the industry of the employer. Lastly, the employer needs to have an acceptable business interest which justifies their motives in requiring their employee to sign a covenant not to compete.

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

Before you sign any agreements that could restrict your rights, you may consider hiring an East Grand Rapids, Michigan attorney who can review the covenant. The attorney can negotiate modifications to the contract if they are needed, and can draft a new clause which is acceptable to the parties involved. An attorney can also give valuable advice when it comes to suing employees for breaching covenants, or counseling employees who have signed one about whether they can accept a different job.