What to do if I have a issue with a non-compete agreement of a current employee and his former company?

He has no trade secrets to protect that couldn’t be found in a google search. does the anti trust law apply to us. I received a certified letter that if my current employee didn’t resign then i would be sued. How should i go about this matter. Do I need a lawyer or can i take care of this matter myself

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I need to make the assumption here that the non compete that the employee signed dealt with working for the competitors of the former company, correct?  While they are valid in New Mexico, the courts there balance the right of the employer against the right of the employee. That means that a court will generally only uphold non-compete clauses which under the circumstances are considered to be reasonable. Some provisions that courts have considered to be unreasonable include terms that last for an unusually long period of time or that cover a geographic around Albuquerque that is unreasonably broad. The agreements must also deal only with those competitors whose line of employment is reasonably related to the previous employer's and the employer must have a legitimate business interest behind its motivation for mandating a covenant not to compete. I would have an attorney look at the non compete to advise you how to proceed.  Often the letter is sent as a scare tactic and the employer may not really want to spend thousands in litigation costs.  Good luck.


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