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A timely and material update on non-competition agreements

Non-compete agreements are certainly in the news these days.

In fact, we feel compelled to add what might reasonably be viewed as a postscript to a blog we wrote recently regarding these singular pacts that are sometimes executed between businesses and select employees.

In our October 19 entry, we centrally noted that non-competes, while often being litigated in state courts when under dispute, are increasingly becoming focal points for federal judges in the wake of the Defense of Trade Secrets Act enacted into law back in May of this year.

The thrust of today's post, while broadly related to our earlier blog effort for its emphasis on trade secrets and the give-and-take balance that necessarily defines a non-compete (deemed in our prior entry the "middle ground" stance between an employer and worker, respectively, that must be apparent to a court weighing in on reasonableness), makes one additionally important point.

And that is this: Clearly, non-competes in a general sense are falling into material disfavor across many segments of the federal government. In a recent article citing an alleged need for significant non-compete reforms, a ranking U.S. Department of Labor official called such agreements "overbroad" and "blunt, charging that they stifle the creative efforts of entrepreneurs seeking to start new companies and overly restrict the movement of labor across the country.

There are better ways to protect trade secrets, says Sharon Block.

Indeed, there are alternatives, of course, but their existence does not diminish the value of a well-drafted and fair non-compete agreement in a given case. Such contracts have long safeguarded the critically important proprietary rights of businesses in Ohio and across the country, and will continue to do so.

An important point to note concerning non-competes is that timely and close input from a proven employment law attorney can help ensure that business principals ultimately execute a contract that is judicially deemed fair to a worker and yet stands resilient to legal challenges contesting its validity.

A business and commercial law attorney who routinely safeguards management's interests in employment law matters can answer questions and offer candid guidance concerning non-competes, as well as provide important input in the negotiation and drafting of such documents.

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