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Are there limitations on noncompetition agreements?

| Jan 15, 2015 | Civil Litigation |

Employees in Oregon might benefit from understanding more about noncompetition agreements as described by the state legislature. Noncompetition agreements may be described as a contract between an employee and employer in which the employee agrees not to compete with the employer’s products, services or processes for a specific duration of time or within a specific geographic location after termination. These types of agreements are often a condition of employment or finalizing a business contract.

According to state law, noncompetition agreements may only extend two years from the date of termination. These agreements must comply with a number of conditions in order to be enforceable by the courts. Noncompetition agreements may be a condition of advancement or employment. As a condition of employment, the employee must be provided with written notice of the agreement no less than two weeks before the first day of work.

In order to be enforceable in court, the employer must also have a protectable interest for requiring the noncompetition agreement. The employee may be on-air talent, have access to trade secrets or other information that may be competitively sensitive or confidential but not qualified as a trade secret. Noncompetition agreements may also prevent employees from soliciting businesses that have been targeted for marketing purposes. A 2002 court case found that refusing to sign an unenforceable noncompetition agreement is not an employment-related right recognized by the state.

People who need more information about noncompetition agreements and employment disputes might benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to review the terms of the agreement and help determine whether it may be considered legally binding by a judge. Lawyers may also be effective in helping people obtain restitution if they have been suffered injuries due to an unlawful noncompetition agreement.