Your Customers May Be Fair Game Without Proper Nonsolicitation Agreements In Place

Nonsolicitation agreements are a way to ensure that an employer's most valuable assets — its customer base and workforce — are not tampered with by departing employees. Nonsolicitation agreements are especially useful for sales or service businesses, particularly when their market is limited or very specialized.

Nonsolicitation agreements are frequently incorporated into employment contracts, noncompete or nondisclosure agreements or as part of a severance agreement, but some companies offer them as a separate item. They do not have to be offered at the time an employee is hired, but if they are offered at a later time, they may not conflict with promises made in the original employment contract.

Nonsolicitation agreements may not be for every employer. But properly drafted, nonsolicitation agreements will minimize the risk that your former employee takes your valued customers or valued employees to a competitor.

Employment lawyer Gordon L. Osaka of Portland, Oregon, is available to businesses across the state. Ask your nonsolicitation agreement questions using the email form — or call us at 503-644-3266.