Generally speaking, in Montana, a covenant not to compete means that the employee will agree not to work for any of their employer's competitors when leaving the company. Such agreements are also known by the term "non-compete clauses". Employees who sign them can either receive compensation or simply be required to agree as a condition for their employment.

When are Covenants not to Compete Unenforceable?

It is difficult to know whether a judge will enforce a given non-compete agreement. Even if the employee's interests may be significant Montana courts will certainly assign great weight to a person's freedom to choose the type of employment that is suitable for them. Accordingly, only those covenants which are deemed to be reasonable will be upheld by the court. Covenants not to compete that a court will categorize as unreasonable include agreements that last for a long duration or that restrict the employee to an unreasonable geographic area around Havre.

Covenants must also be limited to restricting dealings with those competitors that are reasonably related to the employer?s industry. Lastly, an employer is required to have a legitimate business reason in its motivation for imposing a covenant not to compete on an employee.

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 a Havre, Montana 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. When it comes to suing an employee for breach of a non-compete clause, an attorney can provide valuable advice. They will also be able to counsel employees who need advice for a covenant they have signed.