Wyoming Law On Non Compete Agreements

If you are invited to sign a non-compete agreement, speak to a lawyer with Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC. Non-competition agreements, also known as anti-competitive or restrictive agreements, are employment contracts used by employers to limit an employee`s ability to compete with the employer by stealing customers or trade secrets. Enforceable agreements must strike a balance between protecting the employer`s legitimate business interests from an unfair competitive advantage and the worker`s right to work in a sector for which he or she is trained. In general, the courts decide what is deemed appropriate or inappropriate by examining the nature and size of the business, the duration and geographic area of the application of the restrictions, and whether the worker received a reasonable consideration or benefit at the time the contract was signed. How can employers change existing employment contracts? Wyoming does not have a general status or regulation on non-compete obligations or other restrictive agreements. Wyoming`s courts are a heavy burden for employers trying to protect their trade secrets and confidential information through restrictive agreements. In order to enforce a non-compete agreement, the employer must demonstrate that: competition restrictions in employment contracts apply under Wyoming law if the contract (1) in writing, (2) part of an employment contract, (3) on the basis of an appropriate consideration and (4) does not constitute a violation of public order. Hopper v. All Pet Animal Clinic, Inc.

861 P.2d 531, 540 (Wyo. 1993). The legitimate interests of the employer, which may be protected from competition, include trade secrets disclosed to the worker during the employment, confidential information transmitted by the employer to the worker, and the particular influence of the worker obtained on the employer`s clients during the employment. Agreements that do not compete are maintained only if they do not go above what is reasonably necessary to protect the employer`s business and if they do not impose unreasonable hardship on the worker. Ridley Krout, 180 p.2d 124, 127 (Wyo. 1947) In any contractual agreement, both parties must give and receive something valuable, also announced in return. Wyoming courts have found that the offer of a first job is a sufficient consideration or benefit to the employee in exchange for his willingness not to compete with the employer when the employment relationship ends. An agreement signed after the start of the employment may also be taken into account if it is accompanied by a promotion, additional salary, special training or other benefits for the worker. The promise to continue working is not enough. Are there specific rules for non-competition for certain categories of workers? Employers should keep these issues in mind when asking workers to sign restrictive agreements.

It is also important to know whether potential new recruits have a non-compete agreement with a former employer. In some cases, the new employer may be held liable to the former employer if the worker`s hiring was contrary to the agreement. Different rules may apply to situations in which a business is sold in whole or in part and where the buyer and seller are entitled to a restrictive agreement. An example of non-compete clauses that Wyoming courts deemed appropriate is that under Wyoming, a written agreement to subject existing or future controversies to arbitration is valid, enforceable and irrevocable, except for reasons of revocation of the contract.