Frequently Asked Questions > Non-Competition Agreements
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENTS IN MARYLAND
  1. ARE NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENTS ENFORCEABLE IN MARYLAND?

  2. HOW ARE NON COMPETITION AGREEMENTS ENFORCED IN MARYLAND?

  3. MY EMPLOYER REQUIRED ME TO SIGN A NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO KEEP MY JOB. MY EMPLOYER DID NOT OFFER ME ANY MORE MONEY. IS MY AGREEMENT ENFORCEABLE?

  4. SHOULD I SIGN A NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT?

  5. I HAVE LITTLE ACCESS TO CUSTOMERS, TRADE SECRETS, OR OTHER PROPRIETARY INFORMATION, YET MY EMPLOYER IS STILL INSISTING THAT I SIGN A NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT. WILL THE AGREEMENT BE ENFORCED?

  6. MY NON COMPETITION IS OVERLY BROAD IN GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE AND IMPOSES LENGTHY RESTRICTIONS. IS IT ENFORCEABLE?

  7. MY EMPLOYER TERMINATED ME. IS MY NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT STILL ENFORCEABLE?

  8. ARE CONTRACT CLAUSES PROHIBITING ME FROM SOLICITING MY FORMER CO-WORKERS ENFORCEABLE?

  9. ARE CONTRACT CLAUSES PROHIBITING ME FROM SOLICITING MY FORMER CLIENTS ENFORCEABLE?

  10. MY NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT SPECIFIES THAT A CERTAIN STATE'S LAWS APPLY AND THAT ALL DISPUTES ARISING FROM THE AGREEMENT MUST BE LITIGATED IN A SPECIFIC COURT. ARE THESE CLAUSES ENFORCEABLE?


Q. ARE NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENTS ENFORCEABLE IN MARYLAND?

Yes. Reasonable non-competition agreements are enforceable in Maryland.



Q. HOW ARE NON COMPETITION AGREEMENTS ENFORCED IN MARYLAND?

Employers seeking to enforce non competition agreements will often petition the Court for emergency relief, either in the form of a Temporary Restraining Order or a Preliminary Injunction. An employee faced with such a petition should immediately retain legal counsel to mount a defense to such a claim.



Q. MY EMPLOYER REQUIRED ME TO SIGN A NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO KEEP MY JOB. MY EMPLOYER DID NOT OFFER ME ANY MORE MONEY. IS MY AGREEMENT ENFORCEABLE?

Most likely. Generally, an employer need not offer additional compensation beyond an employee's regular salary to provide sufficient consideration to support a non competition agreement.



Q. SHOULD I SIGN A NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT?

It depends. Is your employer insisting that you sign an agreement? Are the agreement's restrictions reasonable? Is your employer offering you money or severance in exchange for signing the agreement? Are you prepared to get out of the industry after your employment terminates? Are you prepared to mount a legal challenge to the agreement's validity? You should answer these questions and consult legal counsel before signing a non competition agreement.



Q. I HAVE LITTLE ACCESS TO CUSTOMERS, TRADE SECRETS, OR OTHER PROPRIETARY INFORMATION, YET MY EMPLOYER IS STILL INSISTING THAT I SIGN A NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT. WILL THE AGREEMENT BE ENFORCED?

Generally not. Non competition agreements must be designed to protect a justifiable legitimate business interest. Hence, an employer generally cannot enforce a non competition agreement against an employee who had little access to clients, customers, or information that is truly proprietary.



Q. MY NON COMPETITION IS OVERLY BROAD IN GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE AND IMPOSES LENGTHY RESTRICTIONS. IS IT ENFORCEABLE?

Non competition agreements must be reasonable limited in geographic scope and duration. However, even an overly broad non competition agreement may be enforceable. In some circumstances, Maryland's blue pencil rule allows a Judge to strike the overbroad portion of a non competition agreement and still enforce its terms.



Q. MY EMPLOYER TERMINATED ME. IS MY NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT STILL ENFORCEABLE?

Yes. Assuming the agreement is otherwise a reasonable restraint of trade, the reason your employment terminates will not affect the enforceability of a non competition agreement.



Q. ARE CONTRACT CLAUSES PROHIBITING ME FROM SOLICITING MY FORMER CO-WORKERS ENFORCEABLE?

Generally, yes. Reasonable non-solicitation clauses are enforceable in Maryland.



Q. ARE CONTRACT CLAUSES PROHIBITING ME FROM SOLICITING MY FORMER CLIENTS ENFORCEABLE?

Generally, yes. Reasonable non-solicitation clauses are enforceable in Maryland.



Q. MY NON COMPETITION AGREEMENT SPECIFIES THAT A CERTAIN STATE'S LAWS APPLY AND THAT ALL DISPUTES ARISING FROM THE AGREEMENT MUST BE LITIGATED IN A SPECIFIC COURT. ARE THESE CLAUSES ENFORCEABLE?

Generally, yes. Courts will typically enforce forum selection and choice of law clauses in non competition agreement.



For more information about Non-Competition Agreement Laws in Maryland, contact James Rubin at
jrubin@rubinemploymentlaw.com
The Rubin Employment Law Firm, PC - 11 North Washington Street, Suite 520 - Rockville, Maryland 20850 - (301) 760-7914 jrubin@rubinemploymentlaw.com
These materials have been prepared by The Rubin Employment Law Firm, P.C. for information purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the sender and receiver. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
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