When you start a new job, or sometimes when you leave and are receiving a severance payment, your employer may ask you to sign a non-solicitation agreement. Non-solicitation agreements are subject to the same rules as non-competes, regardless of what they are called. This agreement could be a separate contract between you and your employer, or it could be a clause in an employment contract. Before signing it, it is important to understand what you are agreeing to and to have it reviewed by an experienced employment law attorney to be certain that your legal rights are protected.
What Is a Non-Solicitation Agreement?
A non-solicitation agreement prohibits an employee from soliciting clients or employees of a former employer. While a company may require a new hire to sign one, it can be entered into at any time during the worker’s tenure. It is often used by service and sales companies.
Many people confuse a non-solicitation agreement with a non-compete agreement, but they are different. When a person signs a non-compete agreement, he is agreeing not to work in a particular job or industry.
Are Non-Solicitation Agreements Enforceable in Texas
Despite this difference, agreements prohibiting solicitation must comply with Texas’ statutory requirements – the same laws that govern non-competes. Here’s what is required:
● There must be valid consideration for the agreement.
● The non-solicitation agreement must be part of or ancillary to an employment contract or other valid agreement.
● The employee must only be prohibited from soliciting employees or clients for a reasonable period of time.
● The non-solicitation must be confined to a reasonable geographical area. For example, an industry-wide prohibition most likely would not be enforceable.
● The scope of the non-solicitation must be reasonable.
Is your employer asking you to sign a non-solicitation agreement? Are you thinking of leaving your job but are worried about the enforceability of a contract you already signed? Have you already left or been terminated, have you been sued or are you being threatened with suit for enforcement of a non-solicitation agreement? Walt Taylor is here to review your agreement and to answer your questions. He represents employees throughout the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Mid-Cities areas.
To schedule a consultation with Walt (sometimes for no fee, depending on the circumstances), call our office directly at 817.380.4888 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.