As shown by my posts about non-competes in Maryland, reasonable non-compete agreements are generally enforceable. (Further, even if a non-compete agreement is overbroad, many Maryland Judges believe they have the power to re-write such an agreement to make it enforceable). So, can you get out of them or limit them? Maybe. Just as you and your employee can agree to enter a non-compete; you and your employer can agree to modify a non-compete. The more leverage you have, the more likely you can modify a non-compete to your liking. How can you generate leverage? Here are a few ideas:
- It can be a very expensive proposition for an employer and an employee to litigate to determine if a non-compete is really enforceable. You may convince your employer to reduce your non-compete obligations by agreeing not to initiate litigation.
- Find out what your employer's real interests are. It may not want you working for its established competitors and may not care if you are working for a start up.
- Give a little. Do you have something the employer wants, like money it owes you for severance? You might offer something of value in exchange for a release from any non-compete obligations.