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How to Prove a Non-Compete Agreement is Being Violated

A non-compete dispute attorney in Southern California can provide assistance in situations where you believe that a non-compete agreement may have been violated. Non-compete agreements provide important protection for companies who do not want their former employees to unfairly and inappropriately steal business or take confidential information to competitors. Unfortunately, sometimes actually enforcing these agreements can be an uphill battle for businesses. non-compete dispute attorney in Orange County

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide assistance in making sure a non-compete agreement is drafted in a way that the court is likely to uphold the contract.

Our legal team can also help you to take appropriate legal action if you believe a former employee is in violation of your non-competition agreement. To find out more about the way in which our experienced attorneys can help you, give us a call today.

Can you Enforce a Non-Compete Agreement?

If your company’s former employee signed a non-compete agreement and you believe that the agreement is being violated, you can pursue legal action in civil court.

You can try to seek an injunction to prevent the employee from continuing the behavior that is in violation of the agreement and/or you could seek monetary damages if your company has suffered financial loss due to the actions of the employee who is in violation.

If you go to court because of a violation of a non-compete agreement, it will be up to you to demonstrate both that the agreement is legally valid and that it is being violated. Often, the most difficult part of successfully making a case is proving that the non-compete is a legally valid contract which is not so overly broad in scope that the court will decline to enforce it.

California Business and Professions Code section 16600 states that: “Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.”

This provision of the Business and Professions Code makes it very difficult for employers in California to actually convince a court that a non-compete agreement should be enforced.

Courts have tended to vigorously apply this rule that essentially voids most non-compete agreements, which means they generally invalidate any contractual restriction on an employee’s right to engage in competitive activity after leaving employment.

This does not mean you have absolutely no recourse against an employee. An experienced attorney can advise you on how to protect trade secrets and proprietary information from falling into the wrong hands. This can sometimes include using other types of contractual agreements, such as non-disclosure agreements.

If an employee is violating an agreement that prevents that employee from using confidential information, like customer lists, then you can take legal action as long as you can show that particular agreement is valid.

How to Prove a Non-Compete Agreement is Being Violated

Although California law doesn’t allow the enforcement of non-compete agreements in most cases, there are limited exceptions or you may find yourself in a situation where an employee who lives in another state has violated a non-compete that actually is enforceable.

If you wish to pursue legal action for violation of a legally valid non-competition agreement, you have to show the employee has engaged in behavior which is explicitly forbidden by the signed contractual agreement.

For example, if a non-compete agreement prevents an employee from using customer contact lists from your business to open up a competing company and start offering service to clients, you would need to show that the employee was doing this harmful action.

It is helpful to work with an experienced attorney who can assist you in obtaining the types of evidence you may need to prove a violation of an agreement. This could include using the discovery process in civil litigation to obtain phone records or company financial records. The specific types of evidence you will need to prove a violation will depend upon what kind of violation occurred. An attorney can help you to make your case.

Getting Help from A Non-Compete Dispute Attorney in Southern California

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide assistance to businesses who want to enforce non-competes as well as to employees who are being asked to sign an agreement or accused of violating one.

We know California laws on non-compete agreements inside and out and can offer you knowledgeable advocacy as you try to protect your company or your ability to earn a living. Give us a call at 866-237-8129 or contact us online today to talk with a non-compete dispute attorney in Orange County about the ways in which our legal team can help you.