Resolving Cases Involving Restrictive Covenants

A restrictive covenant is basically a contract where one party agrees not to do something. Common restrictive covenants include noncompetition provisions, restrictions against solicitation of employees and clients or customers, and confidentiality provisions. Other clauses may require employees to acknowledge an employer's ownership of documents and intellectual properties.

When employees leave or are terminated, issues regarding restrictive covenant often arise. Courts look at certain covenants, especially those that deprive someone of the right to seek or take alternative gainful employment in their chosen field, with significant skepticism.

For such clauses to be enforceable under New York law, courts require that they be narrowly tailored to protect a recognized interest of the company and that equitable considerations support enforcement. Other covenants, such as confidentiality obligations that survive the end of employment, are routinely enforced.

The skilled trial lawyers at Ford O'Brien have experience representing employers in enforcing restrictive covenants, and advising and representing employees in disputes with their former employers. Our attorneys will offer you hands-on representation throughout all stages of your case.