It is increasingly common for employment contracts to contain non-solicitation provisions or clauses, also known as covenants not to solicit. In such contractual provisions, an employee or executive agrees not to solicit its company’s clients or customers, for personal benefit or for the benefit of a competitor, for a certain period of time after leaving the company. Certain non-solicitation provisions may also prohibit the employee from soliciting other employees to leave the company for a specified period of time. In this way, covenants not to solicit do not prevent a former employee from working at all, but simply prevent the employee from raiding the company’s customers and employees to unfairly compete with its former employer.
Employers may require an employee to sign a non-solicitation agreement as part of the hiring process, at some point during employment, or in the final stages as part of a severance package. As with any contract that you enter into, it is best that you thoroughly understand the specifics and ramifications of any employment contract, preferably before you sign it. The employment contract attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. have extensive experience drafting, negotiating, reviewing, enforcing, and defending all types of employment contracts, including non-solicitation agreements, and our lawyers are available to review your employment, independent contractor, or severance contract.
Broad employment contracts that forbid an employee from pursuing his or her chosen profession, restrict competition, or limit post-employment activities are disfavored by Virginia courts and viewed as restraints on trade. This is also true of non-solicitation agreements that prevent individuals from contacting and soliciting former clients and customers, former partners, or former employees. Non-solicitation provisions are generally viewed by Virginia courts with a similar disfavor with which they view covenants not to compete, and some Virginia courts have struck such agreements on similar grounds as non-compete covenants.
If you are asked to sign a non-solicitation agreement or other type of employment contract, you should seek skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel to review the contract. The employment law attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. can ensure your rights are fully protected under the non-solicitation agreement and that you enter into any agreement with full knowledge of its meaning and consequences. If you have already signed a non-solicitation agreement, a seasoned employment attorney can review the provisions and advise you on its precise parameters. Understanding the specific nature of the agreement will help you act in accordance with the applicable restrictions or to identify grounds for challenging the agreement.
The employment law attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. have years of experience dealing with these types of restrictive covenants and employment contracts. We are proficient in drafting non-solicitation agreements as well as representing employers and employees involved in non-solicitation disputes. MartinWren, P.C.’s employment law attorneys can review the employment agreements and advise you as to the enforceability of the provisions. Our full-service firm can represent you at any stage of the process and provide wise legal counsel to ensure your rights are fully protected.