Published on April 7th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
- Robert Frost
ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES”: On a daily basis many of our blog visitors submit questions about something more and more employees are facing: Non-Solicitation Agreements. These are agreements – or provisions in other agreements – that say, in effect, “After you leave this job, you cannot solicit business from our customers,” and sometimes also say, “Nor can you solicit our employees to leave our company.” Of course, every non-solicitation agreement is different; There is a wide variety of wording, phrases and details seen in different non-solicitation agreements.
Here is one question we recently received: “If my non-solicitation agreement has no limit on the geography it covers, and no limit on how long it lasts, is it still enforceable?”
Here is another question we received the very same day: “If my non-solicitation agreement forbids me from soliciting my former employer’s potential customers, isn’t that all of the people in the world?”
To try to explain better how non-solicitation agreements work – and don’t work – we decided to devote this newsletter entirely to them.
LESSON TO LEARN: There are basically three kinds of “restrictive covenants” – the legal term for “agreements to limit your future work-related activities – that employees commonly face.
(1) First, “non-compete” agreements, which generally provide “I will not work for a competitor of the company in a certain geographic area for a certain period of time.”
(2) Second, “non-solicitation” agreements, which generally provide “I will not try to reach out and get the business of the company’s clients or customers, or take away its employees.”
(3) Third, “non-disclosure” agreements, which generally provide “I will not divulge or use the company’s confidential information.”
Of these three basic types, “non-solicitation” agreements seem to be growing fastest both in popularity and problems, as non-compete agreements are increasingly viewed with disfavor by Courts, who are reluctant to keep people out of work in their chosen field, and non-disclosure agreements are quite simple: “Don’t share secrets.” Non-solicitation agreements, however, go right to the heart of business: access to, and control of, the customer relation.
Since “knowledge is power,“ and we seek to empower working people, we here deliver the basic knowledge you need to navigate and negotiate for yourself on this important subject:
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Read over this “A to Z of Non-Solicitation Agreements,” and you should find yourself both more comfortable and more capable in dealing with non-solicitation issues, questions and concerns.
Continue Reading. . .