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BUSINESS & CORPORATE LAW

Gross & Romanick, P.C. > BUSINESS & CORPORATE LAW (Page 2)

Non-Compete Agreements: Why Even Unenforceable Agreements Can Be Effective in Virginia

Oftentimes, employees seek a definitive answer to the question: “Is the non-compete clause in an employment contract enforceable?”  The answer to this question, whether yes or no, is almost always qualified with the word “probably”.   In Virginia, there is no bright-line rule to establish when a non-compete restriction is enforceable or unenforceable.  In each case, the Court will evaluate the restriction on its own merits, taking into consideration the employer’s business interests, the employee’s ability to earn a livelihood and the public policy of Virginia. Even when a non-compete clause is “probably” unenforceable as written, the employee must understand that the...

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Social Media and Employment Termination in Virginia

One question that is being increasingly asked by our firm’s business clients is: Can I terminate an employee due to comments posted by the employee on Facebook or Twitter? While the instinctive answer is “yes” since Virginia is an at-will employment state, the actual answer can be much more complicated.  Each case is different, and the answer to the question depends on the type of employer/employee, as well as the actual content posted by the employee.  Some speech may be protected under the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (i.e. speech about matters of public concern by public employees), and some...

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Case Example: Non-Compete Agreement Must Be Narrowly Tailored

In Virginia, it is very difficult to enforce a covenant not to compete against an ex-employee. The Virginia Courts will only enforce a covenant not to compete if: (a) it is narrowly drawn to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest, (b) it is not unduly burdensome on the employee’s ability to earn a living, and (c) it is not against public policy. In each case, the Court will evaluate the covenant not to compete on its own merits, balancing the terms of the covenant with the circumstances of the businesses and employees involved. In a recent case before the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Daston...

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