Employment contracts can have various clauses regarding salary, benefits, length of employment, expectations, and more. When you are about to sign a contract, however, you may not realize there may be terms that limit your activities even after your employment relationship has ended. Many employers try to include restrictive covenants in their contracts and these clauses may be harmful to you after your employment is over. You should always have an experienced employment law attorney review your contract for such clauses before you sign anything.
What is a Restrictive Covenant?
Any clause that limits the way you can act after your termination can be considered to be a restrictive covenant. The following are some of the most common restrictive covenants in employment contracts:
- Confidentiality clauses — This clause prevents former employees from sharing confidential company information, confidential information about customers, trade secrets, or unique processes or services provided by the company.
- Non-compete clauses — This type of clause prohibits former employees from working for the company’s competitors and from starting your own business that would compete with the company.
- Non-solicitation clauses — This clause prohibits former employees from soliciting clients from the company to do business with your new employment.
- Non-recruitment clauses — Also commonly known as an “anti-raiding” clause, these clauses limit former employees’ ability to recruit or hire your former coworkers to come work with you instead of your former employer.
Are These Clauses Valid?
Not all restrictive covenants are enforceable and courts put strict limitations on these clauses. In order to be enforceable, a clause must not be overly broad or restrictive, for too long of a period of time, or create undue hardship for the former employee. For example, if you were a salesperson in New Jersey and your former company is trying to keep you from selling similar products in Florida, it may be overly broad. In addition, non-solicitation clauses are generally not applied to clients with whom you had a prior relationship. Our attorneys can help challenge unfair restrictive covenants.
Discuss your Contract with a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney Today
The firm of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl has represented many clients in matters involving unfair employment contracts and specifically regarding restrictive covenants. Whether you would like to have a contract reviewed or have already signed a contract, we can help challenge unfair or unenforceable clauses. Call Steven L. Fox, Esq. at our office today at 732-422-1000 for more information about how we can help with your employment contract or any other employment issues.