A non-solicitation of employees clause prevents former employees from leaving their jobs and then recruiting or hiring their former colleagues. This is often referred to as anti-raiding or anti-poaching. Without this type of restrictive covenant, a former employee could harm the legitimate business interests of a former employer by hiring away important colleagues or even entire teams. As with non-competition provisions, non-solicitation clauses must be reasonable and narrowly tailored. Employers must tread carefully to limit the scope, timespan, and geographic reach of a non-solicitation of employees clause.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in St. Louis has established a proven track record of success representing and protecting the employment rights of employees and workers. With a particular focus on restrictive covenants, HKM Employment Attorneys understand how to interpret and challenge the boundaries of a non-solicitation of employees provision. A national law firm with a local emphasis, HKM Employment Attorneys has experience negotiating with companies of all dimensions, from small business to enterprise. If you need legal assistance with a non-solicitation of employees agreement, know that you can contact us for help today.
Reasonable Timespan for Non-Solicitation of Employees in Missouri
Missouri statutes and judicial decisions make it clear that employers have a legitimate business interest in protecting against employee raiding or poaching. The plain language of the law provides that a non-solicitation of employees agreement can last for one year under most circumstances. Stated otherwise, a one-year restriction on the solicitation of employees is normally reasonable under the law.
In certain situations, an employer can extend the timespan beyond one year. In order to do so, the employer must provide a reasonable basis for extending the non-solicitation of employees provision. If an employee challenges a non-solicitation clause lasting more than one year, then the Missouri courts will determine reasonableness.
Burden of Proof for an Enforceable Non-Solicitation of Employees Clause
In any legal dispute arising out of a non-solicitation of employees clause, the burden of proof rests squarely on the employer. To justify broad restrictive covenants, the employer must show that they need to protect a legitimate business interest, such as trade secrets or client lists. The Missouri courts will also require the employer to demonstrate that their non-solicitation of employees clause is the least intrusive and restrictive way of protecting their interests. If the employer is unable to justify their non-solicitation of employees agreement, then the courts may strike it down in part or completely.
Connect With a Proficient Non-Solicitation Lawyer in St. Louis
If you are a worker whose former employer established a stringent non-solicitation of employees clause, there is good reason to review the parameters and language of the agreement. If your non-solicitation clause is overly broad in scope, time, or geography, you may be free of certain restrictions. That is where HKM Employment Attorneys can step in to provide legal service and support. If you have legal questions about non-solicitation of employees or other restrictive covenants, contact us immediately for legal help.