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Noncompete Agreements

At Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, our talented team of employment law attorneys represent employers and employees in the drafting, reviewing, negotiating and litigating of noncompetition and nonsolicitation contracts. Our attorneys have the necessary experience to handle your most critical business and employment matters with skill and attention to detail.

Noncompete Agreements

Many employers protect their intellectual property by requiring employees to sign noncompetition or noncompete agreements, which are a type of restrictive covenant. A noncompete agreement generally limits the ability of an employee to go to work at a competing business in the same territory or region in which the employee worked for the company for some limited period of time. Such contracts often include confidentiality provisions that prohibit current and former employees from sharing trade secrets, processes, customer lists and other confidential business information gained during their employment.

Our attorneys have extensive experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating noncompete, nonsolicitation and confidentiality provisions within contracts and can counsel you as to the enforceability and scope of your restrictive covenants. We also have significant experience representing both employers and employees in lawsuits and legal disputes over noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act

For many years, the laws governing the enforceability of restrictive covenants in Georgia were in a state of uncertainty. Many noncompete agreements were found to be unenforceable if the court deemed they were unfair to the former employee. For instance, a noncompete agreement could be found invalid and unenforceable because it didn’t reasonably identify a geographic region, a reasonable time period for enforcement, or fairly describe the scope of work restricted. Under these prior laws, if one part of the noncompete agreement was found to be invalid, then a court could declare the entire noncompete agreement unenforceable.

After many years of this uncertain patchwork of law, the Georgia legislature acted to address the issue. The Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act, which took effect on May 11, 2011 and applies to all noncompete agreements executed on or after that date, modifies prior Georgia law regarding restrictive covenants and requires the courts to evaluate the enforceability of such agreements under a different standard. Because of the scope of these changes, it may be necessary to revise existing noncompete agreements. Our employment law attorneys have extensive experience crafting noncompete agreements that comply with the Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act and are prepared to review your contractual relationships and existing employee covenants to help you determine the best course of action to protect your business interests.

Please contact us online or by telephone at 706-548-1151 if you are seeking experienced legal representation in connection with a noncompete agreement or other restrictive covenant issue.