Though Virginia is an “at will” employment state, which allows both employers and employees to terminate their employment relationship at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, employees who are bound by noncompetition agreements may have to think long and hard before severing their employment relationship. This is because those employees may be bound by non-competition agreements, confidentiality agreements, nondisclosure agreements, non-solicitation contracts, severance agreements, or a variety of other restrictive covenants that impair the ability of those employees from working for a business that competes with their former employer.
Restrictive covenants in the employment setting can come in a variety of forms. In addition to traditional non-competes, other restrictive covenants may include nonsolicitation of employee provisions, nonsolicitation of customers or clients, nonpiracy of customer or clients, noninterference with existing contracts or relationships, and other no-contact provisions. Virginia courts apply varying levels of scrutiny when examining these provisions, and the level of scrutiny depends on the type of provision, the provision’s purpose, and the provision’s effect.
Employers seeking to enforce noncompete agreements generally have to show that the agreement is no greater than necessary to achieve a legitimate business purpose. While courts have traditionally considered the enforceability of these agreements without considering each contract in context, Virginia law now permits employers to have an evidentiary hearing to show that the scope of the noncompete is reasonable and that it has legitimate business purposes to protect.
MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia Noncompetition Lawyers have represented both employers and employees regarding the creation, negotiation, and litigation of non-competes, other restrictive covenants, and employment contracts in general. Our attorneys are familiar with the evolving state of the law regarding noncompetition agreements, and we can advise and counsel either businesses or employees on the potential issues surrounding the scope of noncompetes.
Licensed in Virginia, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia, our employment-contract attorneys’ extensive litigation experience spans federal courts and state courts (VA, MD, NY and DC) in trial courts and appellate courts. Virginia employment attorney, John Simpson, for example, successfully handled a noncompetition dispute arising out of the sale of a $50 million business through trial in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond and through appeal in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. John also has experience arbitrating employment-related disputes, including those in the financial sector involving the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Virginia Employment Contracts Attorneys
Our Employment Contracts Attorneys are familiar with drafting, negotiating, and reviewing the myriad types of employment contracts and intellectual property agreements that arise in this information-based economy. We also routinely review and negotiate severance agreements on behalf of employers and employees, including those involving the transfer or protection of sophisticated intellectual property.
For more information about the services MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia Noncompetition Lawyers and Virginia Employment Contracts Attorneys can offer, please call (434) 817-3100 to speak with Attorney Robert E. Byrne or Attorney John B. Simpson.