Pittsburgh Non-Compete Agreement Lawyer
Before you begin a new job, your employer typically requires you to fill out several forms. Although most of these forms are pretty basic and standard with every position, others are not as common, such as non-competition clauses.
For the uninformed employee, the inclusion of such a clause in an employment agreement may cause a lot of stress. The clauses are often long, difficult to read, and may appear to require an advanced legal degree to understand.
While you can always take these forms to an attorney, most employers won’t give you enough time to do so. In a situation where it seems like your job depends on signing the agreement, it is common for employees to cut their losses and sign without truly understanding what they agree to.
Though this approach does work occasionally, more often than not, employees end up unlucky and find themselves unable to pursue a different job down the road. But not all hope is lost. The help of a dedicated employment law attorney, like those at J.P. Ward & Associates, can make all the difference in getting out of an unfair agreement.
What is a Non-Competition Clause?
A non-competition clause may occur either as a clause within an employment agreement or as a standalone document. Often referred to as a non-compete, the non-competition clause is an agreement entered into to prevent an employee from utilizing training from his previous work in competition with his former employer.
When is a Non-Compete Agreement or Clause Enforceable in Pittsburgh?
Although non-compete agreements are legal, the state of Pennsylvania does not favor non-compete. There are only a few situations when a Pennsylvania court will uphold a non-competition clause, including if it is:
- Related to the employment relationship between the employee and employer;
- Supported by adequate consideration;
- The restrictions are reasonably limited in duration and geographic extent; and
- The restrictions are designed to protect the legitimate interests of the employer.
Only when these four things are present in the agreement will a non-competition clause be enforceable in the state of Pennsylvania. For more information on what each of these requirements entails, be sure to visit our article detailing how Pennsylvania law can help employees challenge unfair non-competition clauses.
What to Ask Before You Sign a Non-Compete Agreement
Signing any legally binding document without proper understanding can be costly later. However, for non-compete agreements, you’re often expected to sign immediately. Not many employers will agree to give you time to consult your legal counsel. So, it falls upon you to make the right decision for yourself and your future career.
That said, seeking clarification on a couple of important things before committing yourself can help you better understand what you’re signing. Some great questions you can ask your employer pre-signing include:
- Who is limited by the agreement? You should understand your limitations as well as those of your employer.
- What positions and companies are limited? You want specifics on the kinds of roles and organizations you can’t work for.
- How long is the agreement valid? Any legitimate non-compete clause has a time limit. So, you want to know when it will expire.
- Which areas are limited? Sometimes, non-compete agreements may limit former employees from working in certain roles or starting specific businesses in a particular location. So, you want to ask about any geographical limitations.
- Why is the agreement necessary? This question is important as it will help you understand its motive for the clause. The answer that you get can assist you in deciding whether the company has a legitimate business interest it wants to protect or is just being selfish.
While getting answers to these questions doesn’t guarantee that things won’t go bad for you in the end, it will help you make a more informed decision before you sign non-compete agreements. It can also help you know where you think you need to negotiate before signing the non-compete agreement.
When Do You Need to Hire Non-Compete Agreement Law Firm?
First off, you should think about hiring an employment attorney if you feel like you’re stuck in an unfair employment relationship. Often, employees suffer in silence, even though they know their rights are being violated because they feel that they cannot win against their powerful employer.
However, talking to a competent employment lawyer can turn your situation around. Contact us if you:
- You have just been offered a new position but are afraid to take it because of an unfair agreement you signed with your employer.
- Are you stuck in a dead-end job because your non-compete agreement doesn’t allow you to search for a better role?
- Have put your career advancement goals on hold because of a non-compete clause you signed.
- Can’t use a customer list you built because your former employer says it’s theirs now.
- Your employer has filed litigation against you for breaching your non-compete agreement.
Our Process is Simple
- Call us for a Free Appointment
- Share Your Case
- Get a Suitable Non-Compete Agreement Attorney
What Can a Non-Compete Agreement Attorney Do for You?
At J.P. Ward & Associates, we believe that no employer should wield power to prevent you from a career field of your choice. For that reason, we have a team of highly trained and experienced non-compete agreement lawyers to assist you in navigating the restrictive rules placed upon you by your employer.
That said, we can help you:
Examine Your Non-Compete Agreement for Loopholes/ Illegalities
If you’ve signed a non-compete agreement that now prevents you from getting the job you want, we can help you. As already stated, non-compete agreements need to meet certain criteria to be enforceable.
So, your employer threatening to take legal action against you doesn’t always mean that they have a legitimate claim.
As your employment attorneys, our first order of business will be scrutinizing your agreement to identify anything illegal or unreasonable. We’ll then use this information to build your case. If the agreement doesn’t meet all the necessary criteria, it is unenforceable.
File a Counter Suit or Defend You Against Your Employers Litigation
If your former employer has or plans to sue you for breaching your non-compete agreement, we can help you defend yourself in Pennsylvania courts. If the agreement is questionable or illegal, we can also guide you in filing a counter-suit.
We have vast experience in employment law matters, including non-compete agreements. We also have an impressive record of successfully defending employees whose dreams have been halted by non-compete agreements.
Explore Your Options
We can also help you discover and explore your options if a non-compete clause binds you. In most cases, non-compete agreements specify specific things you can’t do during or after employment to protect a company’s trade secrets.
But since these non-competition agreements are usually lengthy and filled with legal jargon, it can be hard to grasp the content.
You don’t have to live in fear of pursuing your dreams after leaving an employer. With our formal legal advice, you can better understand the options you have in terms of what you can legally pursue.
Need a Non-Compete Agreement Attorney? Our Attorneys Have Non-Compete Clauses Experience and a Proven Track Record
If you or someone you know signed an employment agreement with a non-competition clause or signed a non-compete agreement and cannot find a new job, you do have options. The employment attorneys at J.P. Ward & Associates are knowledgeable about non-competes and can help you figure out your rights and options under Pennsylvania law. You can trust us for a private attorney-client relationship throughout the process.
Contact us today for your free consultation by filling out this contact form or by calling (833)-GOT-FIRED.