WHAT CAN YOUR EMPLOYER ENFORCE AFTER YOU LEAVE?
Within employment contracts there is usually a restrictive covenant detailing what rights your employer has when you leave the company. This includes things such as not working for a competitor within a certain mile radius.
However, the enforceability of these covenants is greatly disputed. With any restrictive covenant there are two key issues. The first is whether the restrictive covenant is enforceable and second, the nature of the enforcement.
For an employer to enforce a restrictive covenant, the restrictive covenant must protect a legitimate interest of the employer and be no wider than necessary. The employer must take great care when drafting a restrictive covenant.
The most common restrictive covenants are;
- Non-solicitation of employees – this is to prevent a former employee from encouraging a fellow employee to leave employment.
- Non-solicitation of clients – this is to prevent a former employee from encouraging clients to her new employer/business.
- Non-dealing with clients – this is quite restrictive as it prevents the former employee from contacting previous clients at all.
- Non-competition – this prevents a former employee from working within a certain mile radius or in a certain business for a limited amount of time.
If a restrictive covenant is valid, the employer can bring damages against for the employee or seek an injunctive relief.
The concept of restrictive covenants is difficult and the result will depend on the drafting and reasonableness of the clause. Employers should not be too restrictive otherwise the restrictive covenant will not be held in a law Court.
THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE BUT IS INTENDED AS GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY AND NO ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN IN RELIANCE ON IT WITHOUT SPECIFIC TAILORED LEGAL ADVICE TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE PARTICULAR FACTS OF YOUR CASE.