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New York State’s Regulation of Non-Compete Agreements: What Employers Need to Know

Lisa BabiarzEmployment Law, News

State employment laws are constantly changing, and New York State is no exception. The Empire State has recently enacted new regulations regarding non-compete agreements. It’s important that employers are aware of these changes so that they don’t violate the laws. Likewise, employees must be aware of the rules so that they can know when their rights have been violated.

Who better to relay this information than New York State’s top employment law attorneys? Whether you’re in Geneva, Auburn, Ithaca, or Pen Yan, NY, the experienced attorneys at Littman and Babiarz know all about compliance with the new laws and what’s required.

Read on to find out more. Unless you’re in need of guidance from a New York State employment attorney, and in that case, you’ll want to contact the employment lawyers at Littman & Babiarz and request a free consultation.

Employment Law and Non-Compete Agreements

Employment law is a complex and constantly evolving field. But, of course, contracts, particularly non-compete agreements, are no exception.

A non-compete agreement is a legal contract between an employer and an employee. According to employment law, non-competes stop employees from working for a competing business during or after employment. They can also prohibit one from starting their own competing business within a certain time frame and sometimes geographic location.

For example, take an employee of a cupcake shop in Pen Yan, New York. A non-compete agreement could be used to prevent the employee from working for another central New York bakery or starting their own bakery nearby.

They are valuable tools that help employers who are looking to protect their businesses. This is why so many employment lawyers or attorneys choose to specialize in labor law. They can help employers draft non-compete agreements, parties review them, and they can also ensure that they’re enforceable.

Recently, there have been changes. Here’s an outline of the changes below:

Employee Limitations

Non-compete agreements are limited to employees who earn upward of $75,000 annually. So, entry-level employees cannot sign or be held to a non-compete agreement.

Time Limitations and Other Rules

An even bigger update that employment lawyers are now including in all non-competes is that they can only be enforced for a period of 365 days after an employee leaves a company. Otheremployment law firm in Geneva New York important considerations to consider:

  • Agreements must be presented at the time of hiring. This means that employers cannot require employees to sign non-compete agreements once they are an employee. Also, they have to be in writing and signed by both parties to be enforceable.


  • Employment law states that non-compete agreements can’t be used to keep a person from working in a certain industry. For example, a business owner can’t trick a competitor into signing a non-compete to keep them from sharing the same profession.

Time Limitations and Other Rules

According to employment attorneys, New York State has also increased the penalties for employers who violate the law. An employee may be entitled to damages, which can include lost wages, lost benefits, and other financial losses resulting from the employer’s breach of the non-compete agreement.

The employee may also be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing the lawsuit. Failure to comply with these new regulations can result in significant fines and legal fees, so employers must take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.

Understanding all the employment laws related to non-compete agreements can be confusing. That’s why our team of employment lawyers at Littman & Barbiarz is committed to standing with you throughout the entire process.

Employment laws exist to provide a safe and legally compliant workplace environment. If you need assistance, contact Littman & Babiarz today for a complimentary consultation.