Bringing on an employee requires that you make an investment in that individual and that you take some risk. You will have to train someone and maybe even offer them relocation support if they are in an important role at your company, like an executive position.
Having someone sign a noncompete agreement can be a way to protect your company’s investment in a new employee. This agreement will prevent them from taking what you have given them or taught them and using it to benefit a competitor or start their own business.
What can you do when a former employee has violated their noncompete agreement with your company?
Ask the courts to enforce your contract
Provided that you took the right steps when executing the agreement and included the right language in it, you can theoretically ask the civil courts to uphold your noncompete agreement after a former employee violates it.
You’ll need to produce the document itself so that the court can affirm that it is valid and enforceable. You will typically also need some documentation of how they have violated that agreement. Showing how their business directly competes with yours or that they have accepted employment with a local competitor while your non-compete agreement is still in effect could lead to a successful attempt to enforce your non-compete agreement. The courts may order specific performance from the other party or may award you damages for the losses you have suffered.
Understanding your rights as an employer when a worker violates their contract with you can help you protect your business.