What Are Non-Compete Agreements?
A “non-compete agreement” is an agreement between an employer and their employees “that restricts such employee from performing, after the employment relationship… terminates (1) Any work for another employer for a specified period of time. (2) Any work in a specified geographical area or (3) Any work for another employer that is similar to such employee’s work for the employer that is a party to such agreement.”
Key factors for determining violations of non-compete agreements.
- Agreements must protect a valid business interests such as trade secrets.
- They must be set for a reasonable duration of time.
- Non-competes have to have a geographical scope determined by the reach of the business. For example, a business that has a market reach that is local to an area cannot enforce an agreement that is global or for markets that are not in their scope.
- The competitor violating the non-compete agreement for direct customers of the business.
How can your company be harmed?
One of the most common reasons for an employer to require a non-compete agreement is to protect trade secrets, that could be detrimental to current and future business profits. Former employees that violate non-compete agreements can pass sensitive information to other companies or individuals. In addition, current and former employees who violate non-compete agreements can reveal sensitive business information, share customer lists and exploit current client relationships.
How can a private investigator assist your business in winning a case against a former employee?
Private investigators goal is to gather the evidence to support that either the agreement was violated or that is wasn’t, whatever the case may be. This objectivity can be crucial during litigation when enforcing a non-compete agreement. The former employee will not be able to claim that the fact-finding was biased since the former employer did not conduct the investigation.
At Brener Investigations Group, our skilled private investigators use multiple strategies to provide the evidence needed in a court of law. The burden of proof for determining any violation in non-compete agreements lies strictly on the former employer.
- Our investigators conduct discreet surveillance to collect evidence to prove the current or former employee is meeting with or having direct contact with a competitor. Video evidence is key in confirming the actions of individuals and can be used in a court of law as proof of violations.
- Discreet pretexts to determine the relationship between the employee and competing business. On many occasions, we are able to establish the non-compete violating relationships by obtaining documents such as work orders and estimates provided by the suspected employee.
- Contact and conduct interviews to collect evidence.
- Using digital forensics to to gather evidence.