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Enforcing Non Compete Agreements in Wisconsin

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If you’re an employer in Wisconsin, you may be wondering how to enforce non-compete agreements with your employees. Non-compete agreements are legal contracts that restrict employees from working for a competing company for a certain period of time after leaving their current job. These agreements are meant to protect a company’s trade secrets and proprietary information. However, enforcing these agreements can be tricky, especially in Wisconsin.

First, it’s important to note that non-compete agreements are generally disfavored in Wisconsin. The state has a strong policy in favor of employee mobility and competition. As a result, non-compete agreements are only enforceable if they meet certain requirements:

1. The agreement must be necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets or customer relationships.

2. The agreement must be reasonable in duration, geographic scope, and the type of employment or line of business it applies to.

3. The agreement must not be overly broad or oppressive to the employee.

If your non-compete agreement meets these requirements, you can enforce it in Wisconsin. However, you will need to take certain steps to do so:

1. Send a cease and desist letter: If you believe a former employee is violating your non-compete agreement, send a letter demanding that they stop. This letter should clearly outline the terms of the agreement and explain how the employee is violating it.

2. File a lawsuit: If the employee continues to violate the agreement, you may need to file a lawsuit. However, be aware that Wisconsin courts are generally reluctant to enforce non-compete agreements. You will need strong evidence that the agreement is necessary to protect your business interests and that it’s not overly restrictive.

3. Seek injunctive relief: If you can prove that the non-compete agreement is necessary to protect your business interests, you may be able to obtain injunctive relief. This is a court order that prohibits the employee from working for a competitor for a certain period of time.

In conclusion, enforcing non-compete agreements in Wisconsin can be challenging. The state has a strong policy in favor of employee mobility and competition, and courts are reluctant to enforce overly restrictive agreements. If you’re an employer, make sure your non-compete agreement meets the requirements outlined above and be prepared to take legal action if necessary. If you’re an employee, be aware of your rights and consult with a lawyer if you believe your non-compete agreement is too restrictive.

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