Non-solicitation agreements and non-compete agreements are also known as “restrictive covenants” since they seek to restrict the behaviour and actions of departing employees (i.e. employees who have been terminated or who have quit). Restrictive covenants are usually included in an employment agreement, or in a separate but related agreement that an employee signs before they start working for an employer, or when terms of employment are being renegotiated. If employees are not careful, such agreements can have a negative impact on what they are able to do or where they may be able to work in the future.
If you are negotiating terms of a new position which require you to sign a non-solicitation agreement or a non-competition agreement, are thinking of moving to a new job where you may be in violation of such an agreement or have been accused by a former employer of breaching a restrictive covenant, you should seek advice from an employment lawyer as soon as possible to mitigate your risk and ensure that your rights are protected.
At Sultan Lawyers in Toronto, our knowledgeable employment lawyers regularly draft, review, challenge, and defend restrictive covenants for employees across various sectors and industries. We help employees enforce their rights, manage their risk, and ensure that their interests are protected.
These agreements, commonly known as “non-competes”, seek to restrict a former employee from, among other things, using or disclosing confidential information, hiring employees of their former employer, interacting with clients, suppliers, or other parties relevant to their former employer’s business, or otherwise competing with their former employer.
While such language is often included in employment agreements, it can be difficult to enforce, depending on how the contract is worded and how much behaviour is restricted. Employers who wish to enforce the terms of a non-compete must generally convince a court that such terms are absolutely necessary in order to protect their interests.
A non-solicitation agreement seeks to prevent a former employee from being able to approach or do business with clients, suppliers, or other parties relevant to their former employer’s business. Non-solicitation agreements are generally easier to enforce than non-competes.
At Sultan Lawyers we help employees understand the language in their employment contracts, including any non-competition or non-solicitation agreements they may be subject to. Where needed, we can help you negotiate terms, defend against allegations of breaches of such terms, and otherwise provide you with necessary legal guidance. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.
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