Restrictive Covenants & Non-Compete Agreements


Highly respected employment litigation law firm assists clients in NYC

It is common for employers in the tri-state area to require employees to sign noncompete agreements or other restrictive covenants as a condition of employment. However, these agreements cannot be unlimited in their restrictions. The Law Offices of Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo assists clients by reviewing noncompete agreements, negotiating the terms of noncompete agreements and entering fierce litigation when a restrictive covenant is unreasonable or unfair. For these types of cases, the firm’s skilled attorneys have a reputation for providing New Yorkers with high-quality legal service since 1994.

Knowledgeable attorneys in NYC explain noncompete agreements

Contract agreement lawyers can explain to you that a noncompete agreement can make it difficult for you to find future employment. However, noncompete agreements do not always receive a favorable reception from the courts. What follows are examples of a few circumstances where you may not have to comply with the terms of a noncompete agreement:

  • Your employer fails to give you something of value:

    A noncompete agreement is a contract where an employer gives you something of value, (for example, the job offer itself) in exchange for you not working for a competitor after you leave. If you sign a noncompete agreement while already working for an employer, the court may feel that you should have been given something of greater value.

  • The agreement covers an unreasonable span of time:

    In order for a NYC noncompete agreement to be valid, it must last a reasonable amount of time.

  • Geographic restrictions are too broad:

    A noncompete agreement must focus on a specific geographic location, namely, an area where your employer does business.

Prosecuting a claim for an unreasonable noncompete agreement or restrictive covenant

Prior to signing a noncompete agreement in NY, you may want to have the document reviewed by a skilled civil attorney. The Law Offices of Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo can help you prosecute an unfair or overly restrictive agreement in the following ways:

  • Pleading requirements:

    Sometimes, an employee can escape a noncompete agreement by attacking the agreement’s validity. In order to convince a court to set aside a noncompete agreement, you must generally prove that the agreement was overly restrictive and unfairly limits your ability to earn a living.

  • Issues to look for during discovery:

    The type of discovery sought in a noncompete or restrictive-covenant case depends upon the nature of your agreement with your employer and what you hope to achieve through litigation. In some cases, it may be necessary to prove that the restrictions placed on your future employment are so unreasonable as to make it impossible for you to earn a living in your particular field. In these types of cases, third-party discovery can be essential. If your grounds for setting aside the noncompete agreement involve some malfeasance by your employer, then discovery runs the full gamut including interrogatories, depositions and document production.

  • Using expert witnesses:

    It’s quite possible to litigate a noncompete or restrictive-covenant case successfully without the use of any expert witnesses. In some cases, however, it may be helpful to rely on the testimony of an expert in your industry who can explain to the fact-finder why the restrictive-covenant or noncompete agreement is unreasonable in light of the nature of your work and available employment opportunities.

Trustworthy representation from experienced employment law attorneys

The Law Offices of Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo is a premier employment litigation law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of New York employees. Call today at 212-227-8877 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a highly qualified attorney at the firm.