Non-compete agreements (NCAs) are an increasingly popular tool of employers in today’s global and competitive economy. As a general rule, California law does not allow for enforcement of NCAs against an employee after he or she leaves the company. This anti-NCA stance is, in fact, so well known that one technology company (Veeva) has sued its rivals, asking the court to declare that the NCAs they make employees sign violate California law. The Recorder report that the rival companies claim that Veeva is merely after their intellectual property. Regardless of the politics behind the lawsuit, it is almost inevitable that the non-compete agreements will be deemed unenforceable against California employees.
Despite the broad prohibition against NCAs in California, there are other tools available to employers looking to protect intellectual property. There are also several important applications of NCA law which employers are wise to understand. Continue reading