On May 11, 2011, Governor Deal executed a new law regarding restrictive convents. O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50 et seq.
The new law is good news for employers who wish to enforce non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements (so called “restrictive convents”). Previously, the law regarding non-compete clauses was so ambiguous that courts were reluctant to enforce these agreements. In fact, many employers opted against enforcement and litigation, knowing the courts would likely rule in favor of the employees.
Another favorable aspect of the new law, from an employer’s standpoint, is that judges now have the discretion to “blue pencil” agreements. In other words, judges are entitled to strike troublesome or potentially illegal clauses without rendering the entire agreement unenforceable.
What does all this mean for business owners and employers? It means that now is the perfect time to review and redraft your employment agreements. Because Georgia law does not require additional consideration to support a new agreement signed by a current employee, employers can painlessly revise current employment contracts to take advantage of the new law. It also means that going forward, all future employment contracts should include language to account for the new law.
Please call Krause Golomb & Witcher to review your employment contracts and to answer your employment law questions.