Non-Competition Agreements in Georgia

Non-competition agreements, commonly known as non-competes, have become a hot topic in Georgia. These agreements are often used by employers to protect their businesses from employees who may leave and become competitors. The basic premise of a non-compete is that an employee cannot work for a competitor or start a competing business for a certain period of time after leaving their current employer.

In Georgia, non-competes are generally enforceable if they are reasonable in scope and duration. This means that the agreement cannot be too broad or too long. The agreement must be narrowly tailored to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests.

Georgia law also requires that the employee receive some type of consideration in exchange for signing a non-compete. Consideration can be anything of value, such as a bonus, salary increase, or even continued employment.

There are a few exceptions to the enforceability of non-competes in Georgia. For example, non-competes are unenforceable against employees who are terminated without cause. Additionally, non-competes cannot be used to prevent an employee from pursuing a profession or trade in which they are highly skilled.

It’s important for employers to carefully draft non-compete agreements to ensure they are enforceable in Georgia. A poorly drafted agreement can result in a court invalidating the entire agreement.

Employees should also be aware of their rights when it comes to non-competes. If an employer tries to restrict an employee’s ability to work in their field after leaving the company, the employee should seek legal advice to determine the enforceability of the agreement.

In conclusion, non-competition agreements can be a useful tool for employers to protect their businesses, but they must be reasonable and narrowly tailored to be enforceable in Georgia. Both employers and employees should understand their rights and obligations when it comes to non-competes to avoid any potential legal disputes.