Non-Compete Agreements in Oregon: What You Need to Know
A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer that restricts the employee from working for a competing company for a set period of time after leaving their current job. While these agreements are generally considered legal, they are often subject to strict scrutiny, especially in states like Oregon that have specific laws governing their use.
In Oregon, non-compete agreements are generally enforceable, but only if they meet certain requirements. The state`s laws on non-compete agreements are designed to protect employees` rights to work and to prevent employers from using these agreements to unjustly restrict their employees` career options. Here`s what you need to know about non-compete agreements in Oregon:
1. Legitimate Business Interests
Oregon law requires that non-compete agreements be necessary to protect the employer`s legitimate business interests. This means that employers must have a valid reason for requiring their employees to sign a non-compete agreement, such as protecting trade secrets or preventing their employees from using company resources for personal gain.
2. Reasonable Restrictions
Employers must also ensure that their non-compete agreements are reasonable in scope and duration. This means that the restrictions on the employee`s ability to work for a competitor must be limited in both time and geographic area. For example, a non-compete agreement that restricts an employee from working in the same industry for five years after leaving their current job would likely be considered unreasonable in Oregon.
Oregon law requires that employers provide consideration in exchange for an employee`s agreement to sign a non-compete agreement. This means that the employer must provide the employee with something of value, such as a signing bonus or a promotion, in exchange for their agreement to the non-compete restrictions.
4. Exclusions and Exceptions
Oregon law provides certain exclusions and exceptions to non-compete agreements. For example, non-compete agreements are not enforceable against low-wage employees, and employees may also be exempt from non-compete agreements if they are terminated without cause.
5. Legal Recourse
If an employer violates Oregon`s laws on non-compete agreements, the employee may have legal recourse. The employee can file a lawsuit against the employer, seeking damages for any harm caused by the non-compete agreement.
In conclusion, if you are an employer or an employee in Oregon, it is important to understand the state`s laws on non-compete agreements. These agreements can be a powerful tool in protecting legitimate business interests, but they must be reasonable in scope and duration, and must provide employees with fair compensation. If you have any questions or concerns about non-compete agreements in Oregon, it is best to consult with a qualified attorney.