Non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, are becoming increasingly popular among businesses in Kansas. These agreements are contracts between an employer and employee, where the employee agrees not to compete with the employer for a certain amount of time after their employment has ended. In Kansas, non-compete agreements are considered legal, but there are certain restrictions that apply.
Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements in Kansas:
In Kansas, non-compete agreements are enforceable if they meet certain requirements. The agreement must be reasonable in its geographic scope, duration, and the extent of the restriction. Kansas courts have held that non-compete agreements that restrict employees for more than one year are generally not enforceable. Additionally, the employer must have a legitimate business interest in enforcing the agreement, such as protecting trade secrets or confidential information.
If a non-compete agreement is found to be unreasonable or against public policy, then it may be unenforceable. In Kansas, courts have struck down agreements that are overly restrictive and prevent employees from pursuing their livelihood.
What is Covered in a Non-Compete Agreement?
Non-compete agreements in Kansas can cover a variety of activities, such as working for a competitor, soliciting clients or customers of the employer, or disclosing confidential information. These agreements can also include non-solicitation clauses, which prohibit an employee from soliciting other employees to leave the employer and work for a competitor.
Employers must be careful not to overreach with their non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements that are too broad or restrict an employee’s ability to work in their chosen field may be deemed unenforceable.
Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in Kansas:
If an employer believes that an employee has violated a non-compete agreement, they may pursue legal action to enforce the agreement. In Kansas, employers have the option to seek injunctive relief to prevent the employee from engaging in the prohibited activity. If successful, the employee may be prohibited from working for a competitor or engaging in other prohibited activities.
It is important to note that employers who enforce non-compete agreements must act in good faith. An employer who improperly enforces a non-compete agreement may be subject to legal claims from the employee.
Non-compete agreements can be an effective tool for employers to protect their business interests in Kansas. However, these agreements must be reasonable in their scope and duration, and must be supported by a legitimate business interest. Employers should work with an experienced attorney to draft non-compete agreements that meet these requirements and to properly enforce them if necessary.