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

Knowing in advance whether a judge will enforce an employee's non-compete clause can be challenging. While employer's interest are significant, the courts of Missouri 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. Those provisions that courts have seen to be unreasonable include those that last for an prolonged period of time or cover geographic areas around West Plains that are unreasonably large.

The agreements must also deal only with those competitors whose line of employment is rationally related to the previous employer's. 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?

Before signing anything that may restrict your rights, you may want to hire a West Plains, Missouri attorney to review the contract. A lawyer can then negotiate to modify the covenant as needed, or may even draft a new one that is acceptable to both parties A lawyer can also render useful advice for employers who are considering suing an employee for breach of covenant, or they can counsel employees who have signed such an agreement.