Posts tagged with "geographical restriction"

Court Enforces Non-Compete Agreements Connected to Franchise Agreements

Carvel Corporation v. DePaola, 2001 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1190

Carvel Corporation sells retail manufacturing licenses and related goods/services to franchises that operate Carvel ice cream stores.  Misters Leopold and David DePaola operated two such Carvel stores in Waterbury, Connecticut.  The two men contracted with Carvel on November 1, 1990, to obtain a retail manufacturer’s license for Carvel franchise store # 1578 for a period of ten years.  The parties entered into non-compete and trade secrets agreements on March 22, 1991.

Later that year, on September 11, 1997, the DePaolas entered into an agreement for a license for Carvel franchise store # 2704.  Several restrictive covenants accompanied this second franchise agreement.  The DePaolas were prohibited from operating ice cream stores within two miles of their previous Carvel locations for a period of three years following the abandonment or expiration of each respective license agreement.  Additionally, the covenants stated that legal disputes would be “interpreted, governed, and construed pursuant to New York law”.

On October 31, 2000 the first license agreement expired but Carvel alleged that the DePaolas continued to operate that location as an independent ice cream store.  The company learned a few weeks later that the DePaolas had begun to operate the second location in the same manner, as an independent ice cream store not classified as a Carvel franchise.  Carvel Corp. sued the DePaolas for breach of the restrictive covenants and specifically claimed that they would disclose valuable and proprietary trade secrets during their current and future business activities.

Injunction Request

Carvel requested that the court issue two injunctions: one to order the DePaolas to cease using and to return any and all Carvel property and a second to cease the operation of their independent ice cream stores in order to comply with the non-compete agreements.  The DePaolas were compliant with returning Carvel property but took issue with the company’s request that they cease their operations of the two ice cream stores.  The agreement had a choice of law provision designating New York law as controlling, but the Superior Court of Connecticut sitting in New Britain was able to adjudicate the case because of the similarities in New York and Connecticut laws’ treatment of non-compete and other employment agreements.

The Court’s Findings

The court found in favor of Carvel Corporation and ordered that the DePaolas cease their operations of their two independent ice cream stores in Waterbury, CT in order to comply with the non-compete agreement.  To reach its decision regarding the enforceability of the underlying employment contract between the parties, the court analyzed whether Carvel had a legitimate business interest that warranted protection, the degree to which the restrictions were reasonable, and to what extent the restrictions would make the DePaolas bear occupational hardships.

The court held that Carvel did have a legitimate business interest that was threatened by the DePaolas’ continued business activities.  While the company did not exercise physical control or have a leasehold interest over the stores, the company had an interest in its goodwill and name recognition that was connected to the customers of the DePaolas’ ice cream stores.

Reasonable Restrictions

Next, the court held that the restrictions, both time and geographical, were reasonable in scope and enforceable by an injunction.  The stated purpose of the restrictions was to “prevent dilution of the exclusivity of the valuable Carvel know-how and Carvel trade secrets”.  The restrictions enumerated in the non-compete agreement were firm enough to protect Carvel’s legitimate interest but limited enough so as not to unnecessary restrict the DePaolas’ economic activities.

The DePaolas claimed that should an injunction be issued, they would “lose both their income and their investment” because the “hardships would be immediate, devastating, and irreparable”.  The court rejected this argument however and held that the DePaolas had entered into the agreements on their own accord without coercion and as such were responsible to bear the risk of hardships that may be the product of the agreements’ terms.

In light of a legitimate business interest and reasonable restrictions, the court granted Carvel’s request for an injunction restraining the DePaolas’ actions in order to prevent further violations of the legally binding non-compete agreements.

The lawyers at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable employment and corporate law practitioners and assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and elsewhere in Fairfield County.  If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Court Modifies Geographical Restriction in order to Enforce a Non-Compete Contract

Eastcoast Guitar Center, Inc. v. Tedesco, 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 320

Eastcoast Guitar Center, Inc. was a company based in Danbury, CT and employed Mr. Richard Tedesco as a sales/customer service representative from 1997 to 1999.  The company had Mr. Tedesco sign a non-compete contract on January 27, 1997 that prohibited him for one year following his termination from competing directly or indirectly with Eastcoast Guitar within a one hundred mile radius of the store’s location at 25 Hayestown Road, Danbury, CT.

This provision created a protected/prohibited area that included the entire state of Connecticut and extended into portions of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.  Eastcoast Guitar terminated Mr. Tedesco’s employment on August 16, 1999 and he began to operate his own company known as Guitar Hangar, an internet-based guitar sales company.  Eastcoast Guitar sued Mr. Tedesco in Connecticut state court for violation of the non-compete contract and requested that the court issue an injunction to enforce the restrictions and prevent further violations of the covenant.

The Court’s Decision

The court found in favor of Eastcoast Guitar and enforced the non-compete contract on a modified basis.  In its analysis, the court applied the five-prong test to assess the enforceability of the non-compete contract as stated in Robert S. Weiss & Associates, Inc. Wiederlight, 208 Conn. 525 (1988).  Specifically, the court looked at: 1) the scope of the time restriction, 2) the scope of the geographical restriction, 3) the protection afforded to the employer, 4) the restraint of the employee’s ability to obtain future employment, and lastly 5) the extent the agreement interfered with the public’s interest.  All of these factors must be reasonable in order for a plaintiff to be entitled to injunctive relief in a legal dispute.

The court, after reviewing all the evidence and testimony, found that the agreement satisfied the factors with exception of the geographical restriction.  It recognized that the company had a valid business interest that deserved protection and as such changed the geographical restriction from one hundred miles to thirty miles and ordered that the agreement be enforced.  The one hundred mile radius was too broad and overreaching according to the court and it felt that its modification of the restriction to prohibit only Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties was reasonable and legally acceptable under Connecticut law.


The lawyers at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable employment and corporate law practitioners and assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and elsewhere in Fairfield County.  If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Enforcement of a Non-Compete Agreement in the Salon Industry

Piscitelli v. Pepe, 2004 Conn. Super. LEXIS 3264
Case Background

Ms. Francine Piscitelli owned and operated a hairdressing and beauty salon since 1985.  She employed Ms. Bernadette Pepe as a stylist from 1990 to July 31, 2004.  The salon moved and underwent a change in its trade name in 1997.  Ms. Piscitelli had Ms. Pepe sign an Employment Agreement on February 27, 1997, that contained a restrictive non-compete covenant.

The non-compete agreement prohibited Ms. Pepe for one year following termination from engaging in competing business activities, soliciting the salon’s employees, or soliciting the salon’s current clients.  The agreement designated a restricted area for the covenant not to compete: Branford, North Branford, East Haven, Guilford, and the portion of New Haven east of the waterway formed by the Quinnipiac River, New Haven Harbor, and Morris Cove.

Ms. Pepe signed a three-year lease on March 9, 2002 for a premise in North Branford to operate a full-service hair and nail salon.  Ms. Piscitelli learned of this in May 2004, confronted Ms. Pepe about the development, and Ms. Pepe confirmed what her boss had been hearing around the salon.  Ms. Pepe assured her boss that she would not be soliciting any of the employees or any current clients beyond her own.  Ms. Piscitelli was comforted by these assurances and allowed Ms. Pepe to continue to schedule appointments at the salon until she voluntarily terminated her employment on July 31, 2004.

In the following months, three stylists left the salon to work for Ms. Pepe at La Bella salon and Ms. Pepe solicited clients of her previous salon regarding the opening of her own salon.

The Court Hearing and its Outcome

Ms. Piscitelli sued Ms. Pepe in Connecticut state court for breach of the non-compete agreement.  Ms. Pepe however contended that the agreement was unenforceable because it: 1) lacked adequate consideration, 2) contained unreasonable restrictions, and 3) there was an adequate remedy at law, thus barring injunctive relief as an appropriate legal solution.  The court rejected these defenses, found in favor of Ms. Piscitelli, and granted her request for enforcement of the covenant not to compete.

While the agreement did not increase Ms. Pepe’s compensation, paragraph ten created additional consideration because it obligated the employer, Ms. Piscitelli, to pay for “certain courses in professional education and training”.  This benefit, according to the court, was adequate consideration in exchange for Ms. Pepe’s covenants.

Furthermore, the court concluded that the covenant not to compete was reasonable with respect to the time and geographical limitations contained therein.  The restrictions did not unnecessarily restrict Ms. Pepe’s ability to earn a living or secure future employment within the salon industry.  The restriction adequately protected Ms. Piscitelli’s legitimate business interests while not excessively harming Ms. Pepe’s career opportunities.

Lastly, the court disagreed with Ms. Pepe that there was an adequate remedy at law available for the case.  The court held that Ms. Piscitelli met the burden of proof to show the need for an injunction and concluded that injunctive relief was appropriate for the case.

The lawyers at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable employment and corporate law practitioners and assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and elsewhere in Fairfield County.  If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Court Enforces Non-Compete and Rejects “Ambiguous Language” and “Unreasonable Restrictions” Defenses

Century 21 Access America v. Lisboa, 2003 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2085
Case Background

Century 21 Access America was a residential real estate sales company based in Milford, Connecticut that employed Ms. Nereida Lisboa as a salesperson from April 2002 until April 2003.  Her employment was contingent upon signing an Independent Contractor Agreement on April 24, 2002, wherein paragraph twelve constituted a non-compete clause.

The restrictive covenant prohibited Ms. Lisboa for a period of two years from working at a competing company located within fifteen miles of Milford, Connecticut.  Once Ms. Lisboa voluntarily terminated her employment with Century 21, she immediately began to work for William Raveis Real Estate, a direct competitor located directly across the street.  Century 21 sued Ms. Lisboa for breach of the non-compete agreement and requested that the court enforce the provisions of the covenant.

Defense Claims

Connecticut courts have the authority to exercise equitable power to order a temporary injunction pending final determination of the order, upon the moving party demonstrating that it will incur irreparable harm in the absence of such an injunctive order.  The court found that an injunction was warranted and proper in this case and as such, granted Century 21’s request for an injunctive order to restrain Ms. Lisboa from further violations of the covenant not to compete.  Ms. Lisboa offered several defenses to invalidate the agreement, including a claim that the language of the agreement was ambiguous and another claim that the provisions were unreasonable.  The court ultimately rejected both of these assertions and held in favor of Century 21.

The challenging party bears the burden of proof to show that an agreement is invalid and should not be binding upon the signatory parties.  The court found no merit in Ms. Lisboa’s claim that the agreement was ambiguous and that she was not obligated to refrain from any specific business activity.  The court stated that “although the covenant is neither a model of clarity or precise craftsmanship, the defendant [Ms. Lisboa] fails to demonstrate how the covenant’s language, in and of itself, is ambiguous”.

Reasonable Restrictions

The court further dissected Ms. Lisboa’s defenses and shot down her claim that the restrictions were unreasonable.  It is well established in Connecticut law that a company has a proprietary right to its clients and is thus entitled to protection for that right.  Century 21 had a legitimate business interest worthy of protection based on the fact that Ms. Lisboa could use information gained from Century 21’s client lists and the time she spent with the company to solicit business for herself and her new company to the detriment of Century 21.

The company was well within its rights to employ reasonable restrictions to protect this legitimate business interest.  Ms. Lisboa’s license to engage in the real estate industry is valid throughout the state of Connecticut and the covenant only restricted her business activities within a relatively small area with a fifteen-mile radius.  This, in combination with a limited time restriction, made the court conclude that the geographical restriction was in fact reasonable and enforceable.

The court identified a legitimate business interest that required protection and concluded that the provisions of the covenant not to compete were reasonable, leading it the grant Century 21’s request for injunctive relief in the form of enforcement of the non-compete agreement.

 

The lawyers at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable employment and corporate law practitioners and assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and elsewhere in Fairfield County.  If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Non-Compete Agreement Restrictions in Connecticut Funeral Services Industry

Sagarino v. SCI State Funeral Services, Inc., 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1384
Case Background

Mr. Robert Sagarino’s mother sold the entire amount of stock in Donald D. Sagarino Funeral Home, Inc. to SCI Connecticut Funeral Services, Inc. for $700,000 and an additional $375,000 for the real estate where the business was located. SCI purchased the company with the condition that Mr. Sagarino and other employees execute a five-year employment contract and a fifteen-year non-compete agreement.  Mr. Sagarino signed his agreement on June 15, 1999, wherein he agreed not to operate or work for a funeral home service company for fifteen years within a thirty-mile radius of SCI’s newly acquired Donald D. Sagarino Funeral Home.  As consideration for the restrictive covenant, SCI agreed to pay Mr. Sagarino a total of $65,000 in one hundred twenty installments of $541.67.

Mr. Sagarino was terminated however on July 29, 1999 when he admitted to consuming alcohol while on the job.  In early 2000, Mr. Sagarino opened C.R. Sagarino Funeral Home approximately two miles from SCI’s funeral home.  SCI alleged that he advertised and sought clients from the same community that Douglas D. Sagarino had traditionally served and sued him to prevent further violations of the non-compete agreement executed in connection with the acquisition of Douglas D. Sagarino Funeral Home.

The Defense

Mr. Sagarino however presented a defense that the non-compete agreement was unreasonable and its terms were therefore unenforceable.  The party that challenges the enforceability of a contract ultimately bears the burden of proving to the court that it is unreasonable and unenforceable.  The court found in favor of SCI however, concluding that Mr. Sagarino had indeed breached a valid restrictive covenant and that SCI had successfully shown it suffered irreparable harm from the contractual breach.  A major component of the court’s decision was that the parties executed the agreement at the time of the sale of a business, creating a situation where it added great value to the business.

The Court’s Decision

The court held that the restrictions in the non-compete agreement were adequate to protect the good will purchased by SCI in its acquisition of Donald D. Sagarino Funeral Home and not unreasonable so as to severely disadvantage Mr. Sagarino upon his termination with the company.  The fifteen-year duration was reasonable provided the nature of the funeral services industry.  The customer return frequency in the industry is typically nine years, a timeframe that makes the fifteen-year duration a reasonable restriction for a non-compete between the parties.  The court also held that the thirty-mile geographical restriction was reasonable in light of the funeral services industry and its business trends.

The necessity of a non-compete in this case emanates from the funeral home name having a strong reputation in the local Italian-American community to which it catered its services.  Business in the funeral home industry is highly dependent upon personal relationships and the family name connected with the business operations.  The vast majority of clients are return customers or referrals from previous clients.  The thirty-mile restriction in the non-compete covers the area where Donald D. Sagarino Funeral Home’s clients have historically been located.  The court once again referenced the nature and business trends of the funeral services industry to conclude that the thirty-mile restriction was both reasonable and enforceable.

If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Ambiguous “General Release Agreement” and Global Restrictions Invalidate a CT Non-Compete

Connecticut Stone Supplies, Inc. v. Fresa, 2002 Conn. Super. LEXIS 4141
Case Background

This case concerns Connecticut Stone Supplies’ (CSS) legal dispute with two former employees regarding the enforcement of their non-compete agreements.  The company employed Ms. Amy Fresa from May 15, 2000, until April 4, 2002, as an Administrative Assistant.  She began to work at the company as a temporary employee in connection with Reitman Personnel and the company officially hired her as a full-time employee on August 14, 2000.  CSS had her sign an “Employee Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreement” when it first hired her and then had her sign a “General Release and Settlement Agreement” when it terminated her employment.

The restrictive covenant prohibited her from working at a competing company for a period of two years and additionally stipulated that she could not solicit CCS’s current of potential clients within a three hundred mile radius.  She began to work for O&G, a company in direct competition with CSS, on August 2002.  Mr. Travis Simms worked for the company from March 29, 2000 until January 22, 2011 at which time he also began to work for O&G.  He signed a non-compete agreement in the same manner as Ms. Fresa but did not execute a General Release Agreement upon termination.  CSS sued both former employees in Connecticut state court and sought to enforce their respective non-compete agreements.

The Court’s Decision

Ms. Fresa and Mr. Simms argued that the non-compete agreements were not binding upon them because the covenants lacked consideration and their terms were unreasonable.  Ms. Fresa additionally contended that the General Release Agreement “extinguished any rights that might exist under it [the non-compete agreement]”.

The court found in favor of Ms. Fresa and Mr. Simms and held that their restrictive covenants with CSS were not enforceable.  The court analyzed the General Release Agreement and found that it contained ambiguous language that created an unintended benefit for CSS.  The company, according to the court, should not be allowed the benefit of enforcing the agreement merely because of an unintended, ambiguous clause in an employment agreement that it had drafted.  The court used this analysis to determine that Ms. Fresa’s non-compete was unenforceable.

How the Court Reached its Decision

The court relied on a different analysis to conclude that Mr. Simm’s non-compete agreement with CSS was unenforceable.  Here the court examined the restrictive provisions of the non-compete agreement to determine whether they were limited and reasonable in a manner that the agreement fairly balanced the interests of the parties involved.  While there was a geographical restriction associated with the non-solicitation clause (three hundred miles), the non-compete clause did not have a geographical limitation and as such “means [the employee] cannot compete anywhere in the world against the plaintiff for a period of two years from termination”.

The court found this to be completely unacceptable and held that the global prohibition on competitive employment was “patently and grossly unreasonable”.  CSS stated that is conducted business all throughout the state of Connecticut but failed to offer any evidence that it carried out global operations or that a worldwide prohibition on competing employment was necessary to protect its legitimate interests.  The court invalidated Mr. Simm’s non-compete agreement in light of the unreasonable and oppressive nature of the provisions contained in agreement that he executed with CSS.

The lawyers at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable employment and corporate law practitioners and assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and elsewhere in Fairfield County.  If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Differences in the Enforcement of Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Covenants

Differences in the Enforcement of Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Covenants
Newinno, Inc. v. Peregrim Development, Inc., 2004 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1160

Mr. Russell Koch worked for Newinno, Inc., a consulting firm, where his employment was contingent upon several restrictive covenants contained in his employment contract. The main agreement between the parties was a non-disclosure covenant designed to protect Newinno’s confidential information and business interests upon Mr. Koch’s termination. The agreement had four main provisions such that Mr. Koch was: 1) prohibited from disclosing information about the company that “is not generally known in the industry which the company is or may become engaged”, 2) prohibited disclosing any information relating to actual or potential clients’ products, business plans, designs, or trade secrets, 3) prohibited disclosing information from the company’s “BrainBank”, and lastly 4) prohibited disclosing information relating to the company’s “lead/prospect and customer lists”. The agreement did not articulate any time or geographical restrictions, which became the main issue in the case and how Mr. Koch asserted that the covenant was not binding or enforceable. These provisions went into effect when Mr. Koch voluntarily terminated his employment at Newinno and began to work for one of its competitors, Peregrim Development, Inc..
Newinno sought to enforce the provisions and requested an injunction from the court to prevent Mr. Koch’s further employment at its direct competitor in order to prevent any breaches of the covenant by him disclosing confidential information. The court held in favor of Newinno and stated that the company had met the burden of proof to demonstrate that the facts of the case warranted injunctive relief. In its decision, the court explained that the issue at the heart of the case was not “whether a reasonableness standard should govern the enforceability of the parties’ confidentiality agreements, but rather concerns [regarding] the exact manner in which the test should be defined or applied”.
Connecticut courts are divided on whether to apply the same criteria and test used to assess non-compete agreements’ enforceability or resort to a more relaxed version of the reasonableness test. Non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements have traditionally enjoyed treatment that is more favorable under Connecticut laws in the courts than non-compete agreements. There are not any Connecticut cases, state or federal, that have held that the enforceability of confidentiality agreements hinges on the same standards and test that governs the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Overall, the courts have concluded that time and geographical restrictions are not necessary in order to enforce a non-disclosure agreement. This is very divergent from how the courts address the enforceability of non-compete agreements where they generally insist that those provisions are in the text of the agreement. This trend has led Connecticut courts to apply a modified version of the non-compete enforceability test where the legal analysis takes into account the “purpose of the confidentiality covenants and the specific information sought to be protected.
It is beneficial for an employee to know the difference in the enforcement trends and policies with regard to non-disclosure and non-compete agreements under Connecticut law. This is especially true when an employment contract contains both covenants and ensuing legal disputes question the validity of each. A party may succeed on the merits of the case with regard to the enforcement of one covenant and then fail on the merits for the other.
If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

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Differences in the Enforcement of Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Covenants

Differences in the Enforcement of Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Covenants
Newinno, Inc. v. Peregrim Development, Inc., 2004 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1160

Mr. Russell Koch worked for Newinno, Inc., a consulting firm, where his employment was contingent upon several restrictive covenants contained in his employment contract. The main agreement between the parties was a non-disclosure covenant designed to protect Newinno’s confidential information and business interests upon Mr. Koch’s termination. The agreement had four main provisions such that Mr. Koch was: 1) prohibited from disclosing information about the company that “is not generally known in the industry which the company is or may become engaged”, 2) prohibited disclosing any information relating to actual or potential clients’ products, business plans, designs, or trade secrets, 3) prohibited disclosing information from the company’s “BrainBank”, and lastly 4) prohibited disclosing information relating to the company’s “lead/prospect and customer lists”. The agreement did not articulate any time or geographical restrictions, which became the main issue in the case and how Mr. Koch asserted that the covenant was not binding or enforceable. These provisions went into effect when Mr. Koch voluntarily terminated his employment at Newinno and began to work for one of its competitors, Peregrim Development, Inc..
Newinno sought to enforce the provisions and requested an injunction from the court to prevent Mr. Koch’s further employment at its direct competitor in order to prevent any breaches of the covenant by him disclosing confidential information. The court held in favor of Newinno and stated that the company had met the burden of proof to demonstrate that the facts of the case warranted injunctive relief. In its decision, the court explained that the issue at the heart of the case was not “whether a reasonableness standard should govern the enforceability of the parties’ confidentiality agreements, but rather concerns [regarding] the exact manner in which the test should be defined or applied”.
Connecticut courts are divided on whether to apply the same criteria and test used to assess non-compete agreements’ enforceability or resort to a more relaxed version of the reasonableness test. Non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements have traditionally enjoyed treatment that is more favorable under Connecticut laws in the courts than non-compete agreements. There are not any Connecticut cases, state or federal, that have held that the enforceability of confidentiality agreements hinges on the same standards and test that governs the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Overall, the courts have concluded that time and geographical restrictions are not necessary in order to enforce a non-disclosure agreement. This is very divergent from how the courts address the enforceability of non-compete agreements where they generally insist that those provisions are in the text of the agreement. This trend has led Connecticut courts to apply a modified version of the non-compete enforceability test where the legal analysis takes into account the “purpose of the confidentiality covenants and the specific information sought to be protected.
It is beneficial for an employee to know the difference in the enforcement trends and policies with regard to non-disclosure and non-compete agreements under Connecticut law. This is especially true when an employment contract contains both covenants and ensuing legal disputes question the validity of each. A party may succeed on the merits of the case with regard to the enforcement of one covenant and then fail on the merits for the other.
If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

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