Unlike many other states around the country, Texas did not see any drastic changes in its non-competition laws in 2018. However, out of a 100 + cases involving non-competition disputes, the following handful stand out either because they addressed a novel issue or clarified an area of confusion in this gray area of the law.
How enforceable is a non-compete? Generally speaking, non-compete agreements are enforceable. Is a non-compete valid if you are fired? Usually, yes. Do non-compete agreements hold up? When written correctly, yes. How long does a non-compete agreement last? As a general rule, non-compete agreements that last two years or less are considered reasonable.
While a non-solicitation clause that prohibits a sales employee from soliciting all company customers may sometimes be justified, most of the time it is much more reasonable to limit the non-solicitation restraint only to the customers and prospective customers with whom the sales employee directly interacted rather than every customer in the company’s database.
Employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employer and may not: (1) appropriate company trade secrets; (2) solicit away the employer’s customers while working for the employer; (3) solicit the departure of other employees while still working for the employer; (4) carry away confidential information.
Texas courts have issued several interesting opinions in 2017 regarding Texas non-compete law, explaining and defining when the Texas Covenants not to Compete Act applies and clarifying procedural mechanisms and remedies in non-compete disputes.
In Texas, covenants limiting employees’ professional mobility are unlawful restraints on trade unless they fall within the exception created by the Covenants not to Compete Act.
In March 2016, the Office of Economic Policy of the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report titled “Non-Compete Contracts: Economic Effects and Policy Implications.” According to the report, an estimated 18% of all workers, or nearly 30 million people, are covered by non-compete…