Formed in 1993, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP is a law firm with a national reach. Our attorneys handle complex employment disputes involving severance, noncompetition, discrimination and wrongful termination claims.
Our trial lawyers are knowledgeable about federal employment law and at state level. We are skilled at analyzing employment disputes and aggressive about pursuing all available relief. We understand the complexities that affect the rights of employees and the businesses where they work.
A strong executive package can attract top talent to a company. Negotiating the terms of termination and severance are a big part of the hiring process. But, even the most well drafted severance agreement can quickly unravel at the time of termination. Sticking points may include whether the company had cause for firing the executive, whether the executive fulfilled all of his or her duties under the contract and whether the severance is now fair under changed circumstances of the company. Even if the executive did not negotiate the terms of his or her severance at that onset of employment, we may be able to negotiate a severance package at the time of termination.
Violation of Non-Compete Agreements
Non-compete agreements protect a company’s trade secrets, business interests and competitive edge. Companies often invest considerable resources in training their employees, which can help a competitor that recruits an employee down the road. Further jeopardizing competition, the employee may have had access to important, confidential information.
Each state has its own laws governing the enforceability of non compete agreements, including:
California has some of the strictest rules regarding non-compete agreements. Covenants not to compete upon termination of employment are void under California law. In addition, California courts have refused to enforce out-of-state restrictive covenants and rejected choice of law provisions that seek jurisdiction in another state with the intention of improving chances of enforcement. However, very narrow non-compete provisions that forbid sharing of trade secrets may be enforceable.
Texas has strict laws regarding restraint of trade, generally. However, contracts that meet the elements of the Covenants Not to Compete Act are enforceable. To be enforceable the restrictive covenant:
- Must be part of, and made at the same time as, an enforceable agreement
- Protect a legitimate business interest
- Contain narrow, reasonable limitations of activities
- Contain narrow, reasonable limitations of geographic area
- Contain narrow, reasonable limitations of time
Arizona courts consider whether the restrictive covenant prevents the employee from pursuing his or her profession. Whether the restrictions are enforceable depends upon whether the restraint is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest and if the business’s interest outweighs hardship to the employee and the public interest. Protection of trade secrets would be considered a legitimate business interest, but the noncompetition agreement cannot be overly broad as to thwart the employee’s opportunities in a similar vocation.
Schneider Wallace advises companies and employees about the enforceability of non-competes and options for pursuing their rightful remedies.
Retain Experienced Employment Litigation Lawyers
For more information about resolving complex employment law disputes, schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable employment litigation lawyers at Schneider Wallace. Our attorneys are available to meet with our business and executive clients at our Houston, TX, San Francisco, CA or Scottsdale, AZ law