Our attorneys can protect your interests
Employers are always concerned about keeping their clients or customers. That’s why you may be asked to sign a nonsolicitation agreement. These agreements are designed to protect the employer but can have a significant impact on your future. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced employment attorney before agreeing to such terms.
The employment lawyers at Gibson Law, LLC used to represent employers for one of the nation’s largest law firms. We understand the concerns that employers have about clients and customers and how they approach these types of agreements. Now, we use our experience and legal knowledge of employment law to protect the rights of employees.
Experienced, dedicated and determined legal representation
A nonsolicitation agreement could be a separate document. Or it could be a provision in a larger document such as an employment contract, noncompete agreement or nondisclosure agreement. It could be presented to you at any stage of your employment, including the time of your hiring and if you are terminated.
These agreements are often used in businesses where there is a limited number of customers or clients in an area, such as sales or service companies. You will be asked to agree not to solicit these customers or clients for the benefit of a competitor if you leave the company. An employer may also ask you to agree not to solicit other employees to join you in a new business venture or company.
Another reason an employer may want you to sign a nonsolicitation agreement is if it sells a product or service that isn’t unique but is very competitive on price. The company doesn’t want you to have an advantage by offering their clients or customers a price for the product or service that you know will be lower.
These agreements are legally binding and enforceable in Ohio. In general, they still need to make it possible for an employee to earn a living and can’t limit a competitor’s ability to attract customers or hire workers.
We make sure the agreement meets your needs
Nonsolicitation agreements need to meet certain requirements:
- There must be a valid business reason to seek such an agreement. Valid reasons could include protecting customer lists or trade secrets. Another reason is preventing the possibility of several employees with specific skills, knowledge or access to trade secrets from leaving to join a competitor.
- The company must have put in effort to build their customer list – including time and money. The customer list must also contain information that is not readily available to others.
- Employees and customers are free to leave voluntarily. For example, a customer can move to a competitor run by a former employee as long as there was no solicitation involved.
The business environment is always changing and nobody knows what the future holds. That’s why it’s important to carefully review a nonsolicitation agreement before signing. Do the terms and conditions work for you? Does it go too far in limiting your options? An experienced lawyer can review the agreement and help you answer these and other questions and negotiate the terms with your employer.
Learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team at our Cincinnati or Dayton office.