Can A Noncompete Be Extended If It Is Violated?
Many noncompete cases are filed after an employer learns that an ex-employee is violating his covenant not to compete. Sometimes, an ex-employee competes for several months before an employer discovers that the ex-employee is doing so. This is especially possible in an age in which much commerce is done via the internet. Thus, by the time an employer discovers a noncompete violation and obtains an injunction to prevent it, the covenant may be almost expired—without the employer getting much if any of its benefit.
Normally, a noncompete will expire at the time stated in the contract. So, if it is a year-long noncompete, the ex-employee can generally begin to compete at the end of a year without fear of employer interference.
However, recent Texas cases provide a possibility for an employer to obtain an equitable extension of a noncompete agreement, if the ex-employee’s violations were “continuous and persistent.”
But the employer must act quickly. Texas courts are hesitant to extend a noncompete agreement if the employer has not diligently asserted its legal and equitable rights.
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At our firm, we have substantial experience representing employers in noncompete cases. If you are an employer needing to enforce a noncompete, or an employee accused of violating a restrictive covenant, call us today.