Although the term "Non-Compete Agreement" is often used as shorthand for what we in the law refer to as "Restrictive "Covenants," Courts are in general reluctant to enforce them if the former employer simply seeks to stop Joe or Jane Average from working for a competitor.
However, if Joe or Jane Salesperson leaves former employer and starts to solicit its customers for his/her new employer, fur will fly, and Courts will generally stop such activity.
Take a look at our Video discussing Severance:
If You Are a Salesperson, Negotiating a Non-Compete Agreement
Before Starting Your New Job May Be Vital
If you are an experienced salesperson with a "book of business," signing a Non-Compete Agreement with a Non-Solicitation Clause (and almost all Restrictive Covenants contain such clauses) may be a really bad idea.
You bring all of your existing clients into the fold during your first few months with Company A, but are terminated 6 months after you start (or resign for one reason or the other). You want to move on to Company B, which is interested in you because of your skills, personality and existing client base.
You may well be stuck, because of the contract you signed with Company A. Fair or not, you agreed to its terms, and the customers you brought to Company A are now considered Company A's customers, so that your solicitation of them on behalf of Company B will be a breach of contract.
Solution: You need to identify your customer base with specificity before you join Company A, and come up with parameters to exclude it from the reach of the Non-Solicitation clause contained in your Restrictive Covenant contract with Company A.
Such negotiations can be tender, but ignoring the potential Problem identified above can have dire consequences.
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees
John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.
John typically represents employees who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.
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