When you begin employment with a new company, you may be asked to sign an employment contract. In many cases, employers will include a non-compete clause in their contracts, which are controversial in Nevada and many other states. If you have signed a non-compete clause, it is important to realize that it may not be valid and enforceable under Nevada law and you should discuss your rights with an experienced Las Vegas employment lawyer who understands the law regarding non-competition.
What Is a Non-Compete Clause?
When you sign a non-compete agreement, you are agreeing to not work for a competing company after the end of your employment relationship. However, these agreements cannot be limitless – in fact, they must be quite specific in order to be valid.
For example, an employer cannot prohibit you from working for any competitor indefinitely and anywhere in the country. To do so would substantially limit career options for many people, especially in specialized industries or positions. Therefore, there are certain aspects of non-compete agreements that are important to consider:
Geographical limitations – Your non-compete should be specific regarding the geographical area in which the agreement is effective. For example, if you worked at a salon, an agreement may state you cannot work for another salon within a 50 mile radius of the original business. What type of geographical area is reasonable will depend on the nature of the business and similar factors.
Period of time – In addition, a non-compete cannot prohibit you from ever working for a competing company for the rest of your career. Instead, it must specify that the restriction is only for one year or another reasonable amount of time to avoid unfair solicitation and advantages for the competitor.
Scope of restrictions – A non-compete agreement must also specify in what capacity you may not work for a competitor. This particular aspect of such agreements was the subject of a 2016 decision by the Nevada Supreme Court. In that case, a casino had an employee sign a non-compete stating she could not work for any other gaming establishment within 150 miles for a year following her employment. It did not specify that she was unable to only work as a manager or executive for a casino, but merely stated she could not work for any casino at all. The court found this was too restrictive and, therefore, refused to enforce the overbroad agreement.
Before you sign or abide by a non-compete agreement, it is important to have it carefully reviewed by a knowledgeable employment contracts lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Employment Contracts Attorney For Assistance Today
Too many people restrict their employment options because of a non-compete clause that would not have been enforceable in Nevada. In addition, many people are wrongfully accused of violating invalid non-compete clauses. The law regarding such clauses is confusing and ever-changing so if you have any questions or concerns, you should not hesitate to seek help from a qualified Nevada employment lawyer. At HKM Employment Attorneys, we represent employees in and around Las Vegas and ensure their rights are not infringed upon by employers. Call our office at 702-625-3893 or contact us online for help today.