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Reviewing Mississippi’s stance on non-compete agreements

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2018 | Business And Corporate Law |

Like many working professionals in Hazlehurst, you likely have ambitions to progress in your career. That progression might come from moving on to a more advanced position with another organization, or breaking away and starting your own business. Your employer may, however, view your growth as potentially coming at its expense. Such a scenario might prompt your boss to ask you to sign a non-compete agreement (either as an initial condition of your employment or when you are leaving). Many of those that we here at the Shannon Law Firm, PLLC have worked with in the past have agreed to such covenants, only to later find their terms to be extremely restrictive. 

This raises the question as to whether such agreements are generally enforceable. For the most part, the law does not want to see you be hindered in your efforts to achieve success. Many states have gone so far as to adopt statutes that automatically void non-compete clauses. Mississippi, however, is not one of them. 

Determining the validity of non-compete agreements has been left up to state’s courts. In a 2007 ruling by the Court of Appeals of Mississippi, it was recognized that the state’s Supreme Court views non-compete agreements as restraints on trade and personal freedom. At the same time, the Court also recognized that they may be enforceable when their terms are reasonable. What qualifies as “reasonable” in this case? A restriction that essentially prohibits you from seeking employment in a similar field with any sort of competing company for an extended period of time may be viewed as such, provided that you are not in a position to divulge your previous employer’s trade secrets. 

You can learn more about challenging restrictive business contracts by continuing to explore our site.