When an employee leaves a particular employer, it is natural that the company will want to prevent the employee from taking customers or clients with them. This is a concern when an employee may leave to work for a competitor or to start their own company in that industry. If an employer believes this may be a valid risk, it may ask you to sign a non-solicitation agreement regarding clients.
If you are asked to sign this type of agreement, it is always a wise idea to have it first reviewed by an experienced employment attorney who fully understands the nature and implications of employment contracts. In addition, if you have been accused of violating a contract that you previously signed, you should discuss your case with HKM Employment Attorneys as soon as possible.
When it concerns clients, a non-solicitation agreement will state that you cannot try to solicit clients away from a former employer to be your own clients in a new endeavor. This clause is generally included in a general employment contract or as part of a non-compete agreement. You may also be asked to sign this type of agreement as part of a severance package at the end of your employment relationship.
Because these agreements can limit competition in the economic market and restrict employee rights, courts will not always enforce non-solicitation contracts. In order to be valid, the following must often be true:
- There is a valid reason and justification behind the company having this type of agreement. For example, a large retail store may not have a valid interest in fighting against solicitation as they likely have a large and ever-changing customer base. Even if a former employee goes to work for another retail store, it likely will not have a big impact on the customers.
- The client list is valuable. In many cases, a client list is worth protection if it took time and resources to build and contains information that is not otherwise readily available. If a client database is simply a list of customers at a store, it will likely not be considered worthy of protection.
In addition, courts recognize that clients and customers do not have to be wooed to leave one company and take their business to another. If an employee of a travel agency left to open their own agency, some clients may have preferred that specific employee and may choose of their own accord to follow that employee to their new business.
Contact a Qualified Las Vegas Non-Solicitation Attorney For Assistance
While non-solicitation agreements are not always upheld, there can be cases in which a court will decide to enforce an agreement. You should always make sure that you understand all of the implications of any employment contracts that you consider signing at the beginning of your employment. Signing a contract can later limit your opportunities for success in your field and an experienced lawyer can advise you the risks of a particular contract. In addition, if you are involved in a dispute over an employment contract, our employment lawyers can represent you and help you resolve the matter favorably. Please contact the Nevada office of HKM Employment Attorneys online or by calling 702-625-3893 to discuss your situation today.