As markets in every business sector become increasingly saturated, businesses actively seek ways to protect their interests, talent, and proprietary information to gain or maintain a competitive edge. Non-compete agreements are among the tools companies use to restrict employees from working for a competitor, starting a business in the same niche, or engaging in other competitive activities.
Although these contracts serve a legitimate purpose, many employers resort to malicious tactics that often result in wrongful termination, violating Colorado employment laws. If you’ve been fired illegally for issues related to your non-compete contract, you should hire a Colorado employee rights lawyer to seek legal action and obtain fair compensation for any damages.
In this post, we’ll discuss non-compete agreements and how they lead to wrongful termination. We’ll also provide on suing your employer for your illegal dismissal.
Understanding the Link Between Non-Compete Employment Contracts and Wrongful Termination
Non-compete employment contracts or agreements are legal documents that restrict signees (employees) from entering or starting a similar profession after leaving their current company. In other words, it stops professionals from using their knowledge, expertise, connections, and resources gained during their employment for a specified time frame or within a specified geographic area.
Wrongful termination due to non-compete agreements happens when an employer misuses or exploits the power these contracts give them. Below are some ways non-compete employment contracts result in wrongful termination lawsuits:
1. Unreasonable Restrictions
Employees can sue their employer for wrongful termination if their non-compete agreement imposes unrealistic restrictions. For instance, an IT professional at the peak of their career could be forced to stop offering their expertise or services in a large geographic area or for a long duration (usually exceeding 6-12 months). Such unreasonable restrictions can hinder the employee’s career prospects by stopping them from reaping lucrative employment opportunities, especially in highly competitive markets.
Most traditional employers don’t appreciate employees demanding contractual changes during their tenure. For instance, fresh employees may agree to the terms of a non-compete agreement but decide to pursue new job opportunities after gaining sufficient experience. As a result, their employer could retaliate in different ways and fire them.
Modern employees are more likely to speak up against discrimination, safety issues, and other problems in their workplace. Hence, an employer may use non-compete contracts as leverage against employees, threatening to terminate them illegally and stop them from working for a competitor if they don’t stop advocating for their rights.
4. Insufficient Disclosure
Another reason for non-compete contract-related wrongful termination is inadequate disclosure. In this scenario, an employer can fail to inform or outline the terms and implications of their non-compete contract. As a result, they fire them illegally after they agree to join another company, not knowing anything about non-compete agreements or the extent of the restrictions.
How Can I Sue My Boss for Wrongful Termination Due to Non-Compete Contract Issues?
Suing your employer for wrongful termination may not be as straightforward as you think. You’ll need the right mix of legal expertise, evidence, and other resources to win your lawsuit. Below is a simple guide on how to sue your boss for firing you due to issues stemming from your non-compete contract with the organization in Colorado:
1. Consult an Experienced Colorado Employee Rights Attorney
As mentioned before, you need the expertise of a capable attorney to fight your wrongful termination case. They will evaluate your employment contract and the circumstances of your termination to determine the right course of action.
Next, your lawyer will ask you to provide evidence supporting your wrongful termination claims, including communications, footage, witnesses, and documents. They’ll also collect evidence using their resources to prove negligence, breach of contract, and violations.
3. Assess Non-Compete Enforceability
Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney will work with you to closely evaluate your contract terms and the geographic and time restrictions. Using our findings, we can determine your claim’s validity, the damages, and fair compensation.
Often, your employer will try to find a middle ground, foster a win-win scenario, and resolve the case amicably if your employer also has valid claims. For instance, they can reduce the geographic and duration restrictions if your attorney shows the potential impact of being unable to work in their profession, such as long-term unemployment, lost wages, and emotional distress. All these issues (and more) are potential grounds for bigger lawsuits.
5. File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If negotiations don’t resolve the dispute, you can file a lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination due to non-compete contract issues. Your lawyer will draft the necessary paperwork and submit your claim in a district court in Colorado. Both parties must appear in court for a trial before the final verdict if the discovery process doesn’t lead to a settlement.
Contact a Colorado Employee Rights Lawyer Right Away!
The Bourassa Law Group is at your service to help navigate the complexities of wrongful termination cases due to non-compete agreements. Our experienced Colorado employment lawyers can provide solid legal counsel and advocate for your rights to pursue maximum compensation in these tricky cases.
We understand employment laws and how businesses succumb to cunning tactics to stop talented employees from offering their expertise and services to other organizations, depriving them of employment opportunities and potentially drying out their financial resources.
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