Knoxville Noncompete & Confidentiality Agreement Attorney
Knoxville has one of the most dynamic economies in Tennessee. But economic booms lead to employee turnover, and departing employees often take their skills and knowledge to a competitor. Your ex-employees might also possess inside knowledge, like trade secrets or customer lists, which you want to keep private.
Atkins Brezina, PLLC, has business solutions for clients looking to protect themselves. Two of the most common agreements are a noncompete clause and a confidentiality agreement. Properly drafted, they decrease the risk posed by employee turnover and help you maintain the value of your hard work. Contact us to speak with our Knoxville noncompete & confidentiality agreement attorney today.
Protect Your Company
Increasingly, businesses are including noncompete agreements in their employment contracts. These agreements essentially state that an employee won’t work for a competitor for a certain amount of time after leaving your company.
Tennessee courts disfavor noncompete agreements, and they will only uphold one if it protects a legitimate business interest and is reasonable in scope. That means you need an experienced attorney to draft a noncompete to pass judicial review.
For example, noncompete agreements would be inappropriate for low-level employees who perform routine tasks. A waitress or cashier at a business should not be prevented from getting a similar job after leaving your company. A legitimate business interest instead might involve an employee who had access to proprietary information or who received specialized training.
Whether the noncompete is too broad depends on several factors:
- Economic hardship on the employee. How long does it prevent the employee from working? Will they become destitute?
- Any threats you face without an agreement. Is the agreement really necessary to protect your company?
- What consideration supported the agreement. Did you pay the employee extra for signing the noncompete agreement?
- The public interest. Is the public harmed by preventing a former employee from going to work for a competitor?
Knoxville employers often use confidentiality agreements with their employees to protect proprietary information like trade secrets. The agreement states that an employee shall not use or disclose certain information after leaving your company.
We might also use one when selling a business, since you probably need to reveal sensitive business information as part of the due diligence. Generally, these agreements prevent the person bound by the agreement from using, sharing, or otherwise exploiting certain information.
Businesses also include confidentiality agreements in severance packages. Your company’s reputation is one of its greatest assets. Disappointed employees can often spread false information about their coworkers or management. Using a confidentiality agreement is one way to minimize that risk.
Atkins Brezina has helped many business clients protect proprietary information. The last thing you should do is try to find an online template and tweak it to fit your company. You might end up creating an illegal agreement which a judge strikes down as against public policy. Let us analyze whether these agreements are appropriate and then draft one that will stand up in court. Speak with our Knoxville noncompete and confidentiality agreement attorney today.