Non Compete Agreement Washington

If you`re an employer in Washington state, one way to protect your business interests is to have your employees sign a non-compete agreement. This type of agreement restricts an employee`s ability to work for a competitor or start a competing business for a certain period of time after leaving your company.

However, non-compete agreements are not always enforceable in Washington. In fact, earlier this year, the state passed new legislation that significantly limits the use of non-competes in employment contracts.

Under the new law, which took effect on January 1, 2020, non-compete agreements are only enforceable if the employee meets certain criteria. Specifically, the employee must earn a certain amount of money per year and the non-compete cannot exceed 18 months in duration. Additionally, the agreement must be disclosed in writing before the employee is offered a job, and the employer must provide additional consideration beyond just the job offer, such as a signing bonus or additional benefits.

The new law also prohibits non-competes for certain types of employees, including those who are laid off, terminated without cause, or seasonal workers. Furthermore, non-competes are not enforceable for employees who work outside of Washington state or who earn less than $100,000 per year.

It`s important for employers to review their existing non-compete agreements in light of the new law to ensure they are still valid. Employers should also be aware that the law does not apply retroactively, so existing non-compete agreements may still be enforceable if they were signed before January 1, 2020.

In summary, while non-compete agreements can be an effective way to protect your business interests, employers in Washington state need to be aware of the new limitations on their use. It`s always a good idea to consult with a qualified attorney to ensure that your non-compete agreement is enforceable and complies with the latest regulations.