Non-Solicitation Clause: 2 Important Things You Need to Know About Non-Compete Clauses in 2022

By: | September 8, 2022 | Tags: , , , |
non-solicitation clause

Have you ever seen a non-solicitation clause?

Have you ever been asked to sign a non-solicitation clause?

Have you ever actually signed a non-solicitation clause in order to get a job?

I have.

Some employees like myself are asked to sign a non-solicitation clause in order to get employment. My employer wouldn’t hire me unless I agreed to sign the clause.

If you spend years in the job, you might forget that you ever signed the clause, but you can’t forget. Breaking your non-solicitation clause can land you in legal trouble.

When your contract is terminated and you are without a job, then your next step is likely to be to get out and find another job.

It makes sense that you will be looking in the same industry since that’s where your experience is.

However, you may not be able to jump over to the competition since you probably signed a non-compete clause. 

This is going to limit your options and can cause you to miss out on a lot of possibilities.

What is a non-solicitation clause?

A non-solicitation clause is a non-disclosure, non-compete agreement.

This is a stipulation that you are not able to work within a certain geographical distance of your old job or that you can’t work for a certain type of company for a short period of time.

In my case, I signed a non-disclosure, non-compete agreement. The non-solicitation clause stated that if I invented something while working for my employer, I could not compete with the employer.

Is this enforceable?

In this article, we will go over what you need to know when it comes to non-compete clauses.

When can a non-solicitation clause be disputed?

It may seem like a non-compete clause is set in stone and you are totally restricted by it without a chance of breaking it. However, there are times when it is not enforceable. In fact, it is often the case that courts will determine that your clause is not legally binding if you decide to hire an employment lawyer like HKM.

This is because many non-compete clauses are written in a way that is far too restrictive and would harm the person who it binds when they are no longer working for the company.

In fact, there are many states that have guidelines about how the non-solicitation clause should be written that unfortunately often is ignored by companies. In California, for example, these clauses are not permitted at all unless you are selling a business. 

If the clause is too restrictive in its definition of a geographical area, then this is likely to be overturned. A too wide geographical area would essentially be a barrier to any future employment for the worker. Likewise, the time period that is stipulated could be too long and cause hardship in finding a job. 

Essentially, there is no reason to even include the clause if the employee didn’t have any access to trade secrets or confidential information. If this is your case then you are not likely to have to adhere to that clause and can be disputed if the company takes you to court over it. 

When is the non-solicitation clause enforceable?

There are some scenarios in which a non-compete clause is warranted and are the reasons such a clause exists in the first place.

For instance, let’s say you worked with sensitive information that could ruin a company. If that information were to make it to the competition, then this is going to be enforced by the courts if you were to dispute it. 

There are also reasonable restrictions such as a small radius of a geographical area or a short amount of time. You should be allowed to work in the same industry, just not for the competition across the street.

Non-Solicitation Clause: Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a non-solicitation agreement?

When you sign a non-solicitation agreement, you are agreeing to certain work conditions. For example, you might be agreeing not to work in the same industry as your boss within a certain geographical radius. In other words, you are agreeing to a non-compete clause as part of your terms of employment.

Wrapping Up: What You Need to Know About Signing a Non-Solicitation Clause

In closing, by reading this post, you discovered what a non-solicitation clause is and whether the non-solicitation clause is enforceable.

Readers, please share so people seeking jobs know what a non-solicitation clause is in the event they are asked to sign one.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. Have you ever been asked to sign a non-solicitation clause? Did you sign it? What were your experiences?

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