Can You Argue a Non-Compete is “Unfair” and Win in Texas?

If you’re an employee in Texas and you’re bound by a non-compete agreement, you may wonder if you can argue that the agreement is “unfair” and win. The answer is yes, at least in some cases. In a recent case, a Texas Court of Appeals found that it would be unfair to enforce a 1-year non-compete agreement against an employee who only worked for his employer less than 5 months and was let go without cause.

What is a “Reasonable” Non-Competition Agreement?

The the hallmark of enforcement of non-compete agreements in Texas is whether or not the covenants are reasonable.  Generally, a reasonable area for in a covenant not to compete is considered to be the territory in which the employee worked. Furthermore, noncompete agreements barring an employee from working for a competitor in any capacity are invalid. 

How to avoid a non-compete lawsuit?

Many employees assume that if they were let go their non-compete agreement automatically becomes null and void. This is not true, however, in a lot of states, and this assumption can turn out to be very costly for an employee. It is much better to plan ahead and make sure that the departure from the former employer is as smooth as possible, and to avoid doing some of the things described above that often trigger a non-compete lawsuit.

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