How long does a non-compete last in New York?

by ECL Writer
Employment Discrimination in New York

In New York, the duration of a non-compete agreement depends on the specific terms of the agreement and the nature of the industry in question. Non-compete agreements are generally considered to be restrictive covenants, which are agreements that restrict an individual’s ability to compete with a former employer.

In general, non-compete law in New York must be reasonable in duration and scope in order to be enforceable. The duration of a non-compete agreement is typically determined by the specific terms of the agreement, but it cannot be longer than is necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer.

For example, if the employee has access to confidential information that could be harmful to the employer if it were to be shared with a competitor, the duration of the non-compete agreement would be the time necessary to protect the confidential information from being used against the employer.

The scope of a non-compete agreement is also determined by the specific terms of the agreement and cannot be broader than necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer.

Additionally, New York courts have held that non-compete agreements are not enforceable in certain industries, such as media, and that certain professions, such as physicians, are also not subject to non-compete agreements.

In New York, non-compete agreements can last no longer than 6 months, but it’s not a general rule, the duration of a non-compete agreement can vary depending on the specific terms of the agreement and the nature of the industry in question.

In any case, a non-compete agreement should be carefully drafted and reviewed by a lawyer before it is signed to ensure that it is reasonable in duration and scope and that it complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

Non-Compete Law In New York
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How do I get out of a non-compete in New York?

There are several ways to potentially get out of a non-compete agreement in New York, including:

  1. Negotiate with your employer: If you feel that the non-compete agreement is too restrictive or that you will suffer undue hardship as a result of it, you can try to negotiate with your employer to have the terms modified or removed.
  2. Challenge the agreement in court: If you believe that the non-compete agreement is unenforceable because it is overly restrictive or because it was signed under duress, you may be able to challenge it in court.
  3. Show that the employer has not suffered any harm: If an employer wants to enforce a non-compete agreement, they have to prove that they have suffered harm. If you can show that your employer has not suffered any harm as a result of your competition, the court may find the non-compete agreement unenforceable.
  4. Show that the agreement is not reasonable in terms of time or geography: A non-compete agreement is only enforceable if it is reasonable in terms of time and geography. If you can show that the agreement is not reasonable in either of these areas, the court may find it unenforceable.
  5. Show that the agreement is in violation of public policy: A non-compete agreement is unenforceable if it is in violation of public policy. For example, in New York, non-compete agreements are not enforceable in certain industries, such as media, and certain professions, such as physicians.

It’s important to note that each case is different and the best course of action will depend on the specific terms of the agreement and the facts of your situation. It is advisable to seek legal counsel for guidance in order to evaluate the best strategy for your particular case.

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