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Employer wins in noncompete lawsuit

Many companies now insist on noncompete clauses as part of their employment contracts, and a local man has been ordered to pay his former employer after violating his. The agreement the man signed was meant to prevent him from being an owner or operator of any restaurants in specific counties where competition with his employer might occur for a period of five years. However, two months following his resignation, the man opened two restaurants in the area.

The former employer sued the man last year, and the decision was recently released. The judge found that the man had breached his noncompete agreement and must pay more than $2 million in damages to the company he once worked for. Additionally, he will be unable to open any restaurants that might compete for another five years, nor can he recruit any potential employees from that company. This case shows the importance of creating strong employment contracts to prevent such difficulties with employees or former employees.

More and more companies, large and small, are creating strong employment contracts. With the job market as it is, employers want to be as sure as employees about the state of their companies - and want to protect themselves, too. In this case, the man claimed that he did not think that a court would be able to enforce the noncompete agreement. This also shows the importance of being sure that both employees and employers understand what they are signing and what it means.

Employers want to be sure that their company and their brand is protected and respected. By crafting clear and enforceable employment contracts, companies can ensure that these rights and their hard work are protected. Business law attorneys can help develop employment contracts that will provide a firm basis for your company's hiring practices.

Source:  The Detroit Free Press, "Metro restauranteur Matt Prentice must pay $2M for violating noncompete clause" L.L. Brasier, Oct. 24, 2013

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