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Non-compete agreement use for employees in Louisiana

Business owners in Louisiana often rely on non-compete agreements to keep trade secrets, business techniques and client data private from competitors. It is important to follow Louisiana laws.
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    December 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Non-compete agreement use for employees in Louisiana

Article provided by Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams
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The workforce in the U.S. is very mobile and employees frequently change jobs, taking valuable company information with them when they go. Most business owners are familiar with aspects of non-compete agreements and rely on them to keep their company trade secrets, business techniques and client data secure from competitors.

Non-compete agreements -- also referred to as "covenants not to compete" -- are contracts between employers and employees whereby the employees promise not to compete with their employers when they no longer work together. Typically, this contract prohibits a former employee from using knowledge acquired -- or relationships established -- during a term of employment:
-For a specified period of time
-Within a particular geographical region
-In a specified way

The goal behind such agreements is not to squelch the entrepreneurial spirit. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, breach of contract lawsuits against departing employees are up more than 50 percent in the past decade. As a result, workers felt less able to strike out on their own, and a potential employee you believe is a perfect fit for your organization may feel stuck in his or her current situation.

Deciding to use a non-compete agreement

While covenants not to compete may appear to be an easy way of protecting your company's intellectual property, ideas, processes and client base, public policy in Louisiana is against non-compete agreements. While the state may disfavor such agreements in general, if used appropriately and legally, they are essential for many small business owners. Consider these issues before having your employee sign a non-compete agreement:
-Follow Louisiana laws: One-size does not fit all situations and laws vary from state to state. Louisiana is one of the most restrictive states in the U.S. Such agreements are permissible only within narrowly defined exceptions.

-Make it legally binding: Non-compete agreements cannot be one-sided. Each party to the agreement must receive a benefit, especially if signed some time after the time the employee is hired.

-Be reasonable: If there is a challenge to the enforceability of an agreement, the employer must show that the terms of the contract are reasonable and necessary.

-Enforce the provisions: If you use non-compete agreements in your business, know your options and enforce the provisions when an ex-employee violates your agreement.

A lawyer can help

Whether you need advice regarding the use of a non-compete agreement or you wish to enforce the provisions of an executed agreement, an experienced business lawyer can help. Consult an attorney knowledgeable about matters affecting Louisiana companies and employer-employee relationships.

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