Washington DC Non-Compete Disputes Lawyer

Many employees deal with sensitive information daily. This may involve something as seemingly innocuous as a customer list or as valuable as trademarked or patented information. As a result, employers regularly ask their employees to sign non-compete agreements in the event that the employee leaves the company. In short, these agreements require a former employee to not work in the former employer’s sector for a set period of time or to avoid from working in a defined geographic area. The resulting agreements can place heavy burdens on former employees, and in some cases, are illegal.

A Washington DC non-compete disputes lawyer could help both employees and companies when disagreements over non-compete agreements occur. A skilled contract disputes attorney could help settle arguments out of court or build a case for court.

Laws that Control Non-Compete Clauses in Washington DC

Non-compete clauses have become a major part of ending an employee’s relationship with a company and for making sure that the employee does not harm the employer after the employment relationship ends. With many of these employees obtaining valuable skills or knowledge that could jeopardize an employer’s position in the marketplace, companies look to limit this damage in non-compete agreements.

In general, parties to a contract are free to agree to whatever terms they find acceptable. It is one of the oldest principles of law with which the courts typically do not interfere. However, the prevalence of these clauses has caused many jurisdictions to step in.

While Washington DC does not have a specific law that limits the efficacy of non-compete agreements, there are limits as to what terms a contract may contain. For example, the Code of the District of Columbia §28-4502 prohibits the creation and preempts the enforcement of contracts that restrain trade or commerce in the District of Columbia.

DC courts have upheld these agreements if an employer can show that the contract does not restrain local trade, that the restraint is necessary to protect their business interest, and the agreement does not violate public policy. A Washington DC attorney could evaluate the language of a non-compete clause in a contract to determine if it may violate District law.

How to Resolve a Non-Compete Dispute

Both former employees and companies may dispute the legality or effectiveness of a non-compete clause. An employee may believe that the contract places an illegal restriction on how or where they can seek new employment or start their own business enterprise. Additionally, an employer may believe that a former employee has violated the terms of the agreement and is using the employer’s property as a foundation of the employee’s new business.

One of the most efficient ways to resolve these disputes is to attempt to settle the argument out of court. A Washington DC lawyer could help parties articulate their arguments during non-compete dispute negotiations in an attempt to come to a fair outcome.

Of course, it is also possible to ask a court to either uphold the language of a contract or to void it as illegal. An experienced attorney also could represent a party’s interest in court in situations that concern the enforceability of these clauses.

Consult a Washington DC Non-Compete Dispute Attorney

Disagreements over non-compete clauses can be extremely difficult to resolve without legal help. Especially in the tech and research sectors, companies are looking to protect their places in the marketplace and their intellectual property. Conversely, many workers find that these contracts are overly restrictive and limit where, when and how they can resume employment.

The law in Washington DC is unclear concerning these clauses. While they are not illegal, there are limitations to the language and effect of these contracts. It is not surprising that disputes can often arise concerning the enforceability of non-compete clauses.

Fortunately, a Washington DC non-compete disputes lawyer could work with both companies and individuals to evaluate the language in a contract that has led to a disagreement, provide clarity, and work to bring the dispute to a fair resolution. For more information about how we could help you, call today.