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Commercial Litigation FAQ

Can My Former Employer Stop Me Working for a Competitor?

How Non-Compete Clauses in Texas May Affect Your Case

The non-compete clause (NCC), or covenants to not compete, are increasingly being used in Texas and across the United States. The agreement serves to protect a company's interests when the business involves confidential trade secrets and high-stakes transactions, such as in technology.

The enforceability of the non-compete agreement depends on its terms and other circumstances. If an employee signs an NCC, they agree to avoid pursuit of a similar profession that competes with their current employer. Under Texas law, the non-compete agreement is enforceable if it is "reasonable" in its scope. Our state's courts have routinely upheld non-competes that aren't overly broad in the time and geographical restrictions they place on the employee and that are crafted narrowly to protect the company's legitimate business interests.

Employees must be careful when entering into non-compete agreements because a clause that is too broad may prevent them from obtaining future employment. In general, companies should only ask employees to enter into non-compete agreements if it is necessary to "protect legitimate business interests."

For instance, if you are a Houston medical device salesman, and the non-compete prohibits you from working anywhere in Texas for the next 20 years, a court may very well refuse to enforce it. On the other hand, a non-compete restricting you from working in medical device sales for a competitor within the Houston metropolitan area for a two-year period is more likely to be found to be reasonable. These agreements usually are enforced through injunctions. Damages and attorney fees may also be available to the company seeking enforcement.

If you have questions about a non-compete agreement, call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629. Your consultation is free!

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  • $171 Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement.
  • $139 Million Massive Settlement Achieved for Victims of an Oilfield Incident Arnold & Itkin LLP negotiated a huge $139,000,000 settlement for injured families affected by an oilfield incident in the eastern United States, settling one week before trial.
  • $125 Million Settlement Won for Widow of Dredge Worker Offshore lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP won a nine-figure settlement for a woman who lost her husband in a pipeline explosion. By pushing the case toward trial, our firm pressured the defendant into settling with our client, allowing her to rebuild ...
  • $117 Million Largest Single-Event Personal Injury Verdict in Louisiana History Arnold & Itkin represented a pregnant woman who experienced stomach pain and called Acadian Ambulance. The driver of the ambulance drove the ambulance into the back of a sugar cane truck causing the plaintiff's spine to be severed at T4 and for her ...
  • $116 Million Confidential Settlement Arnold & Itkin LLP negotiated a massive nine figure settlement on behalf of their clients after several years of hard fought litigation.
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