NJ Non-Compete Law | NJ Non-Compete Lawyer

By Thomas McKinney

Under New Jersey non-compete law, an employer can require an employee to sign a covenant not to compete before a worker begins her job or during her employment. Unfair as it sounds, an employee can be fired if she refuses to sign the non-compete even after she spent years on the job. But there are some restrictions on a non-compete agreement. It must be reasonable in time and geographic scope. For example, in NJ a non-compete agreement typically can last as long as 2 years. The geographic scope is much more fact-specific but it is safe to say that the agreement cannot restrict an employee from working for a competitor anywhere in the country.

There is a further limitation in that a non-compete agreement cannot merely prevent competitors from hiring talented workers in the industry. The non-compete must protect a legitimate business interest such as confidential information. Another exception that has been gaining acceptance in the courts is that the employee’s departure must truly present a danger to the former employer. For instance, the employer must show a likelihood that the employee will use confidential information to hurt the company. The so-called “doctrine of inevitable disclosure” appears to be waning. Call one of our NJ Non-Compete Lawyers for a consultation about your NJ non-compete agreement.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.