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When can you take a worker to court for violating a non-compete?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Business And Corporate Law |

Employers in Mississippi need to follow state and federal laws when dealing with their workers. With every new employee, the company takes on more liability. The company is responsible if the worker fails in their job and if they mistreat their co-workers or customers. The company could potentially lose thousands of dollars if one worker harasses another or does bad work that results in a client lawsuit.

The company may seek to protect itself by negotiating employment contracts with individual workers and by enforcing certain company rules established in an employee handbook. Some inclusions in employment contracts can cause more confusion and conflict than others.

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts, like non-compete agreements, are subject to certain legal limitations. They also only benefit a company if the business goes to court after a violation. Typically, a non-compete agreement requires that a worker not take jobs with direct competitors or start a competing company after leaving employment elsewhere Can your organization enforce a non-compete agreement against a former employee in Mississippi?

Mississippi will sometimes uphold restrictive covenants

While the Mississippi courts recognize that restrictive covenants curtail personal freedom and economic opportunity, they do still enforce these agreements. Typically, the employer hoping to enforce a non-compete agreement will need to show that the agreement is necessary for their protection and appropriate.

An agreement that indefinitely prevents someone from working in a specific industry that does not impose any other reasonable limitations may not hold up to a challenge. However, if the agreement only lasts for a specific amount of time and if it only applies to a specific geographic location and not everywhere, the Mississippi civil courts may uphold the agreement if a company alleges that an employee violated it after leaving their position.

You may be able to prevent a worker from taking a job or starting a company, or you may be able to seek damages after they have already done so in certain situations. Learning about the rules that govern your employment contracts and worker relationships will help you better protect your company. Pushing back against the actions of a former employee with contract litigation can help you preserve your trade secrets and your company’s profit margin.