If you are an employer in the Dallas–Ft. Worth area, you have a stake in not allowing your high-level employees to decamp to the competition with all of your trade secrets stuffed into their briefcases (or brains). That's why it has become increasingly common for Texas companies to require their executives to sign non-compete agreements, which place restrictions on where and when they can work if they resign or are terminated.

Like other legal documents, however, a non-compete agreement is only as good as the attorney who drafts it, since imprecise language can be seized on to void the contract.

Let's say your company's non-compete includes a clause about finding employment in “similar” industries. What exactly does “similar” mean in this context? If you manufacture light bulbs, is a departing employee barred form working at a hardware chain?

The same applies to seeking employment in the same industry “within a reasonable time,” a phrase that's so vague as to be practically worthless. As the employer, you may think a “reasonable time” is two years, while your departing employee may be thinking more along the line of two weeks!

You can save yourself a lot of headaches, and expensive litigation, down the road by having your non-compete agreements drafted by an experienced Dallas labor contract lawyer —and you should preferably tailor each agreement to the individual employee, and not use a “cookie-cutter” document that is too vague and broad to be considered binding by a court.

Jim Zadeh has been drafting non-compete agreements in the Dallas–Ft. Worth area for nearly 30 years, and he knows how to make these documents as “airtight” as possible. Call Jim today at 888-713-5418 to find out what he can do for you!

Jim M. Zadeh
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Attorney at Law
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