Many employees are shocked to learn that the one-paragraph agreement not to compete they signed when they accepted a new job is actually enforceable to prevent them from working in the same industry. These covenants–that is, promises–not to compete are governed by state law, and each state’s law may be different. In Ohio, such promises are generally enforceable if they are “reasonable”, and if they are designed to protect against unfair competition, and not just to stifle competition.
Employment lawyers in Cincinnati and elsewhere across Ohio often get calls from people both in and out of Ohio who have been sued or threatened with sued for alleged breach of a non-compete agreement. People want to know, first of all, if such agreements are enforceable. We often hear, “Well, I talked to a lawyer here in such-and-such a state, and she said she doesn’t think these agreements are really enforceable.” [Read more…]