Executive Non Compete Agreements Ohio

Executive order non-compete agreements in Ohio are agreements that prohibit an employee from soliciting any clients from their former employer or working in a similar business as that of their former employer. They are commonly included in employment contracts and can greatly impact your ability to work.

Executive employees are often subject to executive non-compete agreements in Ohio.  Non-compete agreements are enforceable in Ohio as long as they are “reasonable.”  Reasonableness is defined by Ohio case law and considers factors such as the geographic scope of the non-compete and the length of time.   For example, a non-compete may restrict an employee from competing within a 60-mile radius, for a period of 1 year.  There are many examples of geographic scope and length of time.

It is important to keep in mind that these agreements place restrictions on an employee’s ability to work before you consider signing one. Before signing an executive non-compete agreement, one of our executive employment lawyers can assist you by explaining all the legal ramifications of signing such a document and by negotiating terms that are beneficial to you.

What Are Common Conditions that are Included in Executive Non-Compete Agreements?

The content within an executive employee non-compete agreement will vary from employer to employer, but some common conditions you may see include:

  • Inability to work for a competitor
  • Prohibited from creating and providing products or services that could be considered competitive
  • Inability to solicit clients, customers, and former coworkers from your former employer
  • A period of time that the non-compete agreement will be in effect
  • A geographic scope, typically a mileage radius, in which the employee cannot compete.

This is not a fully exhaustive list of conditions that you may see in a non-compete agreement. It is important to note that you have the right to consult with an executive employment lawyer before signing any kind of agreement.

Employers may attempt to include extremely restrictive conditions that will impact your future ability to work within your field.  A lawyer from The Friedmann Firm can assist you in negotiating for better terms and determining the enforceability of any non-competes you have already signed.

How is the Enforceability of a Non-Compete Determined?

Enforceability for executive non-compete agreements will depend on if your agreement is “reasonable,” as defined by Ohio case law. Non-compete agreements are typically recognized in Ohio as enforceable against both parties who signed, so long as the terms are not found to be unreasonable.

The reasonability of a non-compete agreement will depend on a wide range of factors and your individual situation. The Ohio Supreme Court laid out the three most important factors in determining if an agreement is reasonable in Raimonde v. Van Vlerdah (1975), 42 Ohio St.2d 21.

These three factors are:

  • The restriction is no greater than what is required for the protection of the employer’s legitimate business interest.
  • The restriction does not impose an undue hardship on the employee.
  • The restriction is not injurious to the public.

If these factors satisfy the court, then the agreement will be considered reasonable and enforceable.

How Do You Determine if My Non-Compete Agreement is Reasonable?

For executive non-compete agreement lawyers to determine if an agreement is reasonable, the Ohio Supreme Court provides us with a number of different factors to consider. These factors include but are not limited to:

  1. the absence or presence of limitations as to time and space;
  2. whether the employee represents the sole contact with the customer;
  3. whether the employee possesses confidential information or trade secrets;
  4. whether the covenant seeks to eliminate competition that would be unfair to the employer or merely seeks to eliminate ordinary competition;
  5. whether the covenant seeks to stifle the inherent skill and experience of the employee

Determining if a non-compete agreement is reasonable can be a complex process and it is almost impossible to know what the exact decision from the court will be but our attorneys can provide you with advice, based on legal research and case law.

Can a Non-Compete Clause be Enforced After Employment Termination?

In most cases, as long as a non-compete agreement is found to be reasonable, it can be enforced after you have been terminated.  The point of a non-compete is that it be enforced after an employee is no longer employed.

Do not ever assume that your non-compete is void. Courts will generally enforce non-compete agreements, whether you have been terminated or resigned voluntarily.

It is best to consult with a lawyer from our firm before you agree to work for a competitor when there is an executive non-compete agreement in place. Otherwise, you open yourself up to the risk of being sued by your former employer.

What If I Have Already Signed an Executive Compensation and Non-Compete Agreement?

Even if you have already signed an executive non-compete agreement, you still have the right to seek legal counsel. The Friedmann Firm is here to answer any questions you may have about your agreement and what it means for you from a legal standpoint.

As discussed above, determining the enforceability of executive non-compete agreements will depend on a range of factors and your individual case.

Consult with an Employment Attorney for All Executive Non-Compete Agreements

To review and negotiate your executive non-compete agreements in Ohio, we encourage you to reach out to our team at The Friedmann Firm as soon as possible.

We are here to ensure that you understand the conditions in any non-compete agreement you are considering signing and that you have the chance to pursue the best possible terms.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with us online or over the phone at 614-610-9755.