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Non-compete question Ohio

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  • Non-compete question Ohio

    We have a potential employee who is with a competitor at present. When he was first employed he was under a two year contract that was not renewed and he went to employment at will status. The contract had a three month non-compete clause following termination of his employment. The question is, is the non-compete still valid because he is still employed there? He wants us to put in his contract with us that we will pay his legal fees if his employer comes after him. I am concerned about this. any thoughts?

  • #2
    We cannot interpret a non-compete agreement that we have not read. You would have to ask an Ohio attorney to review the non-compete and see whether it is still in force.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      We cannot interpret a non-compete agreement that we have not read. You would have to ask an Ohio attorney to review the non-compete and see whether it is still in force.
      Understood. I was just generally asking. I should have specified that there is no language in the agreement that the non-compete survives the termination of the underlying contract. I am just trying to get a feel for if there is no language specifiying a continuation of any terms following expiration of the contract, if it would seem to be null and void? Understand if no one wants to speculate or offer their thoughts.


      • #4
        This is what Ohio says re noncompetes:

        Ohio courts uphold noncompetes to the extent they're necessary to protect an employer's legitimate interest, don't impose an undue hardship on an employee, and aren't injurious to the public. If the restriction is overbroad in scope or duration, a court will reduce it to what's reasonably necessary to protect the employer's legitimate interest. Continued employment is adequate consideration for a promise not to compete.

        However, any individual noncompete needs to be taken to an employment or contract attorney in the area for review & advice.
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        • #5
          It is impossible to guess whether the current employer will try to enforce the agreement or not. Even if we were somehow able to tell you with absolute certainty that the agreement is no longher enforceable, that doesn't mean the employer won't file a suit anyway. Also, speaking from prior experience, it may not be only the employee that the former company goes after. They might file suit against your company as well. Whether they are sucessful or not is an entirely different matter. My point is that this candidate comes with some degree of risk involved. Before going any further you should consult your own legal counsel and have a frank discussion with The Powers That Be as to the level of risk you are willing to undertake to get this guy on board. Might be worth it, might not. This is not something just one person should be deciding on their own.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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