Pittsburgh Non-Compete Lawyer

Non-Compete Lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Steele Schneider’s team of non-compete lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA, expertly handles all aspects of non-compete agreements. We assist both employers in enforcing and employees in contesting restrictive covenants. Our experience spans across a diverse clientele, including international corporations, executives, entrepreneurs, and insurance companies.

In Pennsylvania, the freedom to change jobs is a fundamental right under the at-will employment doctrine. This doctrine allows employees to leave their job at any time, requiring only that they fulfill the obligations of time worked. However, complexities arise when employees have signed contracts that include non-compete clauses, potentially imposing penalties and restrictions post-employment.

At Steele Schneider, we understand that navigating the aftermath of a professional separation can be challenging for employers and employees. Our Pittsburgh-based attorneys specialize in non-compete agreements that protect both employers and employees.

Understanding Restrictive Covenants in Pennsylvania Employment Law

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts are designed to protect a business’s proprietary information or competitive standing but must balance the employee’s right to work. These include:

  • Non-disclosure Agreements: Employees agree not to disclose sensitive information or trade secrets post-employment.
  • Non-solicitation Agreements: Former employees are restricted from soliciting business from the employer’s clients if they move to a competitor or start a similar business.
  • Non-compete Agreements: These agreements restrict former employees from working with direct competitors or starting a competing business in a specified geographic area for a certain period.

These covenants are intended to protect legitimate business interests, but they must also be fair and reasonable to be enforceable.

Are Non-Compete Clauses Enforceable?

The enforceability of non-compete clauses depends on several factors, including the reasonableness of the scope and duration, the protection of legitimate business interests, and the overall impact on the employee’s right to work. At Steele Schneider, we provide robust representation to both employers seeking to enforce these clauses and employees challenging their restrictions.

Our legal team has the expertise to determine if a non-compete clause is likely to stand in court and to represent clients through the complexities of litigation if necessary. We assess each situation individually, providing personalized advice and aggressive advocacy to ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Fairness and Legality of Non-Compete Clauses

While designed to protect business interests, non-compete clauses should not unjustly prevent employees from advancing their careers. Recent legal trends, supported by federal initiatives, suggest that non-competes should be limited and applied judiciously, particularly for roles where significant proprietary knowledge is involved.

At Steele Schneider, we are committed to ensuring that non-compete agreements are used fairly and legally, providing a balance that protects business interests while respecting employees’ rights.

Contact Steele Schneider About Non-Compete Agreements

Whether you are an employer seeking to protect your business or an employee concerned about your future employment, our attorneys at Steele Schneider in Pittsburgh, PA, are here to help. Contact us to set up a consultation and discuss how we can assist you with your non-compete agreement concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a non-compete agreement?

    • A non-compete agreement is a clause in an employment contract that restricts a former employee from working with direct competitors or starting a similar business within a certain geographical area and time period after leaving a company.

  2. Are non-compete agreements enforceable in Pennsylvania?

    • Yes, non-compete agreements are enforceable in Pennsylvania, but they must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic limitation. They should also protect legitimate business interests such as trade secrets or confidential information.

  3. What constitutes a reasonable non-compete agreement?

    • A reasonable non-compete agreement generally has limitations that are fair and minimally restrictive to ensure they protect business interests without unduly hindering an employee’s ability to find future employment. Reasonableness is determined by the nature of the industry, the duration of the restriction, and the geographic area covered.

  4. Can I negotiate the terms of a non-compete agreement?

    • Yes, employees can negotiate the terms of a non-compete agreement before signing. It’s advisable to seek legal counsel to review the agreement and discuss possible modifications that can balance the interests of the employer and employee.

  5. What can I do if I believe my non-compete agreement is unfair or overly restrictive?

    • If you believe your non-compete agreement is unfair or overly restrictive, consult with Steele Schneider’s lawyers who can evaluate the agreement’s terms and advise you on potential legal options, which may include negotiating a revision of the terms or challenging the enforceability of the agreement in court.