In Washington, D.C., businesses often use non-compete agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to preserve their relationships with their customers and protect their trade secrets. These agreements are usually made between employers and their employees, or businesses and their independent contractors. When violations occur, the Courts closely scrutinize these agreements. The attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, can prepare strong non-compete agreements and NDAs for your business. If a breach of contract occurs and requires litigation to resolve, our attorneys provide the strongest representation for employers or employees, whether they are the plaintiffs or defendants.
Washington, D.C. business owners commonly use non-compete agreements in employment agreements and contracts for sales of businesses. These restrict the employee or potential buyer from engaging in a business of a similar nature within a specified geographic area and time period in any capacity, such as an employee, independent contractor, owner, or investor.
In Washington, D.C., non-compete agreements are enforceable if it is not unfair to the employee. The agreement must be reasonable, cover no more than is necessary to protect business interests, and cannot violate public policy.
The employee must receive some form of consideration for the non-compete agreement to be valid. A job offer is sufficient consideration. If an employer asks an employee to sign a non-compete agreement after the employee has been fired, the employer must give some sort of consideration in exchange for signing the agreement, such as a lump sum payment.
If the employee violates the non-compete agreement, the burden of proof falls on the employer to show the Court that the agreement is reasonable; necessary to protect the employer's business interests; does not violate public policy; and provides the employee with adequate consideration. If the Court finds in the employer's favor, remedies include injunctive relief and monetary damages.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
NDAs are legal contracts that specify confidential information or knowledge between two parties and limits the use of that information or knowledge. These are typically between employees and employers, and they prevent employees from revealing confidential business information to the employers' competitors. Employees may sign these when they are hired or upon termination in exchange for severance payments or other consideration.
NDAs may be unilateral or bilateral. In a unilateral agreement, the employer discloses confidential information to the employee, and the employee agrees to keep that information confidential. In a bilateral agreement, two parties agree to keep each other's information confidential. This is most often used between businesses.
If an employee violates an NDA, this is a breach of contract and employers can seek relief through litigation. Often, the NDA contains specific remedies available.
Do You Need an Attorney Experienced with Non-Compete Agreements and NDAs?
Whether you are an employer or an employee, you need an attorney experienced with non-compete agreements and NDAs to give you the best legal advice before you sign an agreement or to fight for you in court if a breach of contract occurs. The attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, are experienced litigators and will present the best argument to the Court for you. Call us today at (202) 572-1020 or contact us online today.