A professional should know about the complexities of non-compete clauses because they are to be read and analyzed carefully before signing. Often, physicians feel they have little leverage in their employment negotiations, especially when they do not have professional contacts. Information in an employment contract can be negotiated, and it is a professional’s responsibility to ensure that the documents they sign related to their employment are reasonable and in their best interests.
The Purpose of Non-Compete Clauses
Non-compete clauses are used in many different fields for the same purpose: to protect a company’s investment in its employees. Without a non-compete clause, an employee can take their knowledge and training to a competitor and put substantial pressure on the original employer. This does not mean an employee is bound to their original employer forever. Non-compete clauses stipulate the period following the end of an employee’s term that must pass before they can work in the industry and geographical area to which the stipulation applies. It can also outline the scope of the work an employee is not permitted to perform during that period.
When a physician is subject to a non-compete clause, the clause is known as a physician restrictive covenant. Like non-compete clauses used in other industries, a physician restrictive covenant prevents competition between doctors. Often, they are used by practice owners that hire new physicians to prevent them from starting their own practices and competing with the original practice. The existence of a non-compete clause does not necessarily mean it will be upheld in court. Laws for non-compete clauses vary by state, so it is important that any professional, a physician or otherwise, check their state’s laws regarding non-compete clauses before signing or challenging one. When a non-compete clause is deemed unreasonable, it can also be deemed invalid. The court may also uphold an agreement, even if it is extreme, that both parties signed of their own volition.
Philadelphia Health Care Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Interpret Non-Compete Clauses for Health Care Professionals
Our team of Philadelphia health care employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help you protect your ability to continue to practice and earn a living by ensuring that any non-compete clause you sign is in your best interest. To schedule your initial consultation with us, fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-1999. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding area.