Does an employer want you to agree to restrictive covenants?

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Does An Employer Want You To Agree To Restrictive Covenants

After a long job search, you may have finally received an offer that has you feeling excited. The position may allow you to use your skills and education while also offering a comfortable salary. As a result, you may feel ready to jump right in and get started to get your career on an upward path.

Though your enthusiasm may be warranted, you may want to proceed with some caution. If your prospective employer wants you to sign an employment agreement, you could grab a pen and sign on the dotted line. Before you sign the agreement, you may first want to understand the terms and any restrictive covenants included.

Restrictive covenants

Because business owners often have their own interests and the interests of their companies in mind, they want to take steps to protect those interests. The employment agreement itself can act as one of those safeguards, but employers may also go one step further by including restrictive covenants. These terms involve having prospective employees, such as you, agreeing not to take part in certain activities that could potentially impact the company.

Types of restrictive covenants

Depending on what steps an employer wants to take to protect his or her company, the type of restrictive agreement presented can differ. Two common types of covenants include:

  • Non-compete agreements: This type of agreement means that you cannot work for a company that directly competes with the current business for which you work. The terms must dictate a time frame in which the agreement can be enforced and the enforceable area.

  • Non-disclosure agreements: Employers may choose to create this type of agreement in hopes of protecting trade secrets or other confidential business information. By agreeing to the terms, you would be restricted from sharing applicable information with outside parties.

Other types of restrictive agreements also exist, and your future employer may choose to utilize various terms in hopes of protecting his or her specific business interests.

Reviewing agreements

Though an employer may create these agreements for the benefit of the company, you may want to ensure that the terms are enforceable and not overly restrictive. If you sign an agreement with unfair terms, you could find yourself in a difficult predicament in the future. You may wish to consult with a New Jersey attorney before signing any employment-related agreements.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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