Enforceability of Non-Competition Agreements in Maryland
In general, non-competition agreements will be strictly construed against employers. These agreements must be as narrowly drafted as possible to protect the vital interests of the employer. If the agreement is too broad or vague, it is unlikely that a court will enforce the agreement.
When a non-competition agreement is challenged, Courts in Maryland will generally enforce the agreement only:
- Against an employee providing unique services.
- To prevent misuse of the employer’s:
- established customer relationships;
- trade secrets;
- sales or delivery routes; or
- customer or client lists.
In Maryland, Courts will also consider whether the employee is an unskilled worker whose services are not unique, whether the employee is exploiting close personal contact with the employer’s customers and whether the non-competition agreement is necessary to prevent misuse of the employer’s trade secrets and business information.
Courts will also review terms such as geographical limitation, time limitation, and scope of the limitation to determine reasonableness, and therefore enforceability. With so many variables in the mix, it’s no wonder many employers are unable to walk the fine line between enforceability and non-enforceability.
Our attorneys at General Counsel, P.C. have experience in walking the fine line of protecting a wide range of employer interests, while still remaining narrow enough to be enforceable.
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