In general, covenants not to compete involve an employee in the state of Minnesota who agrees not to work for competitors of their employer when they leave the company. Such covenants are frequently called "non-compete" clauses". Compensation may be paid for employees who sign the covenant, or at times the employment may be conditioned upon such an agreement.

When are Covenants not to Compete Unenforceable?

Whether a given judge will enforce a non-compete agreement is difficult to know in advance. Even though the interests of an employer are important, Minnesota courts value a person's freedom to select the type of employment that they desire. Thus, courts will typically uphold only those covenants not to compete that they conclude to be reasonable. Terms contained in a covenant not to compete will be struck down by a court as unreasonable if they bind the employee for an excessively long period of time or if they cover an unreasonably large geographic area around St. Paul.

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 St. Paul, Minnesota 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. 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.