Like in most places here in America, many employers and workers in Dayton are no strangers to noncompete agreements. According to a study, approximately one in five U.S. employees has signed a noncompete or similar agreement. As many Ohio business owners know, noncompete agreements are important to employers because they are designed to protect your company’s interests and prevent ex-employees from working for your competitors.
But noncompete agreements in Ohio are only enforceable if the agreement is considered reasonable by the court. That’s why it’s critical that employers ensure the agreements they expect their workers to sign isn’t too restrictive. If the agreement is so strict it would keep the ex-employee from finding another job and making a living, the court is less likely to deem it legally binding.
What goes into the deal?
The following are the necessary components of a noncompete agreement as well as some advice on how to keep the terms as reasonable as possible while still protecting your company:
Market: The agreement should specify what constitutes a competitor, taking care to encompass all the relevant business opponents but not over-reaching into other job fields.
Scope: The ex-employee should be restricted from working for a competitor within your same city or county. The larger the geographic boundaries, the harder it is to enforce.
Duration: The agreement should be effective for six months to two years after the employee is terminated. Any period longer than that is less likely to be enforceable.
Skills: It should also specify what job tasks the ex-employee is restricted from performing. Note, companies in Ohio can only restrict skills developed during the ex-employee’s time at your business and can’t impose a hardship on the worker.
Legal help for your business
When it comes to noncompete agreements, the language and details are vital. An experienced Dayton attorney can draft the agreements so that your business’ interests are protected to the fullest extent available under Ohio law. They can also assist your business in court if your agreements are challenged.