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Non-Solicitation Agreements - Sawers McFarlane

Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements Can Impair Your Future Employment Opportunities

In non-solicitation non-competition agreements, typically entered into between an employer and employee at the start of their working relationship, the employee agrees not to engage in certain activities or solicit business from certain clients for a given period of time and in a specified area after the employment relationship ends.

For employees, these agreements can be extremely problematic, effectively preventing the employee from finding subsequent employment in their chosen field and their home area for a period of six months up to several years. Many employees sign these agreements with little or no consideration of what it may mean to them down the road, and how the restrictive nature of the agreement may affect their future job opportunities.

Courts Will Enforce Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements

While certain non-competition and non-competition agreements are so broad and burdensome that they will not ultimately be enforced by a court, many such agreements, crafted by company employment lawyers well aware of the parameters of the law, can and will be upheld. Accordingly, a potential new employee asked to sign a non-competition agreement as a condition of employment needs to presume that they will be held to the terms of the agreement if and when their employment ends. If you engage in post-employment activities prohibited by the agreement, you can expect to incur the time and expense involved in litigation.

Things to Consider Before Signing a Non-Competition or Non-Solicitation Agreement

If you do find yourself being asked to sign a non-competition agreement, in should be crafted as narrowly as possible. The agreement should be reasonable in scope in terms of duration, markets, and geographic regions; the employer must have a legitimate business interest to protect; and they should tell you upfront exactly what that interest is.

For non-solicitation agreements, make sure to distinguish between customers that you have brought to your employer, and those provided through your new employer. You should only agree to not solicit customers after you leave, but should be free to service them if they seek you out, or if they are customers of your new employer.

Given the potential impact of a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement on your future employment opportunities, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer before entering into any such agreement, and should similarly seek counsel if you are considering engaging in any activity prohibited by the agreement after your employment ends.

The Employment Law Firm of Sawers McFarlane: Protecting Your Future

With over 35 years of combined experience in the legal field, the lawyers at Sawers McFarlane are committed to helping every client with their unique employment challenges. They can provide advice about any labour or employment problem, and can represent employees in negotiations, hearings, and litigation if necessary. No matter how complex the case, Sawers McFarlane is there to make sure that your rights are protected and your best interests are served. They have served thousands of clients in the Calgary area and across Western Canada, and have earned a reputation as professional, tenacious, and efficient legal advocates. Sawers McFarlane is located at #920 250 5th St SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4 or they may be reached by calling (866) 790-3221.