hat is an Employee Restrictive Covenant?
Protecting Employee Rights in New Jersey
New Jersey employers can restrict the rights of employees when they leave a business because they have legitimate concerns that the employee may compete with them. However, employees are not bound to work for one employer for life. They have the right to make a living in their chosen profession.
The experienced attorneys at Garland & Mason, L.L.C. can analyze whether the employer went too far and caused undue hardship in restricting your rights.
What is an Employee Restrictive Covenant?
Employers may try to restrict the right of employees to work for a direct competitor after the employee leaves the company. These restrictions generally cannot be more than is reasonably necessary. Under the governing employment laws of the state, an employee who worked in New Jersey should be able to practice the same type of work in California without having to wait. Restrictions in similar geographical areas should be for a reasonably limited time such as a year.
When the courts review restrictive covenants, they consider the type of industry and the type of restriction. The basic types of restrictive covenants are:
- A covenant not to compete restricts the ability of the employee to work for or be a competitor.
- A covenant not to solicit new business is a more narrow focus which restricts access to customer and former co-employees.
- A confidentiality agreement protects the employer from the use of proprietary information by the employee.
- Waivers are agreements where the employee waives any right to use intellectual property that could be useful for patents.
How are Restrictive Covenant Cases Handled?
An employer/employee contract creates restrictive covenants. These occur either before the employment starts or during the working relationship. The contract normally dictates how to bring up a dispute (arbitration, mediation, and the courts) and where they to bring up the dispute. Often, the employer will issue a “cease and desist,” seek an injunction and ask for money damages. Employees do have defenses such as arguing that the restrictions are too harsh or too broad.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. Will Help Protect Employee Rights
If you think an employer is restricting your rights when you leave, then we invite you to meet with our law firm. Call Garland & Mason, L.L.C., at (732) 358-2028 or contact us online.
We offer free initial, confidential consultations. Our Manalapan law firm serves businesses and individuals in Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and surrounding counties of New Jersey. Our office is handicap-accessible and is just 15 minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Parking is free.