The law regarding the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Texas has changed drastically in the last few years. Prior to 2006, Texas courts had many reasons by which they could find a non-compete agreement to be unenforceable and routinely found non-compete agreements unenforceable on a variety of grounds. However, following several recent decisions by the Supreme Court of Texas loosening past standards, Texas non-compete agreements will be much easier to enforce in the future.
Texas courts do still require non-compete agreements to be reasonably limited as to time, geographical area, and scope of work. As the court’s determination on the reasonableness requirement is highly fact specific, it is difficult to set out any bright line rules. Each agreement needs to be evaluated on its own in the context of that particular employment relationship. If the court reforms an overly broad noncompete agreement, then the employee may be entitled to an award of attorney's fees in his or her favor.
Bottom line: If you are someone who is bound by a noncompete agreement, you want an experienced board-certified employment attorney to represent you.
Years of Experience
Chris McKinney has been has been practicing employment law since 1996, is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and represents employees who who are dealing with issues related to non-compete agreements. If you have been presented with a proposed non-compete by your employer, visit with a qualified employment attorney before you sign. If you have already signed a non-compete agreement or have been sued or threatened with suit by an employer regarding such an agreement, contact us immediately.