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Colorado employment contract: Non-compete agreements

Finding a job that one will love, that has good pay and benefits and is everything that one could hope for is not necessarily easy. When such an opportunity comes available and a noncompete agreement is required as part of the employment contract, it may give one reason to pause and re-evaluate the situation. This week's column will address some things those residing in Colorado and elsewhere should know about noncompete agreements before they sign.

Noncompete agreements certainly have their place. They help protect a business's trade secrets and prevent former employees from becoming direct competitors. However, not all noncompete agreements are created equal. Some go beyond what is necessary or legally allowed.

For a noncompete agreement to be legally valid, it must meet three basic qualifications. First, it has to be reasonable in its requests in regard to time, geography and scope. Second, it must protect the employer's business interests. Finally, third, it must offer the signing employee some form of incentive. If any of these areas of the agreement are lacking, it may be possible to fight the terms if one decides to move on from the company.

Whether one is seeking employment in Colorado or elsewhere, signing a noncompete agreement without understanding what is in it can obviously have an extremely negative impact on one's professional future. So, before signing an employment contract that includes a noncompete agreement, it is wise to have a lawyer review it first. A skilled attorney will be able to identify any problem areas and can even help negotiate terms that will better suit one's interests.

Source: monster.com, "What to Know Before Signing a Noncompete Agreement", Paul W. Barada, Accessed on April 25, 2017

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