Is This the Beginning of the End of the Noncompete Agreement in New York?

The New York State legislature is presently considering outlawing noncompete agreements in certain circumstances. Although New York courts strongly disfavor such covenants against competition, employers may soon be prevented from enforcing such agreements against low-wage workers or employees who were terminated without cause. Presently, an employer may prevent a former employee from competing with that employer, as long as the employer demonstrates a “reasonable” basis for such a restraint. If legislation currently making its way through Albany becomes law, New York employers may be prevented from enforcing such provisions against many employees. Importantly, New York employers may soon be enjoined from enforcing so-called “no poach provisions,” or clauses designed to prevent a competitor from soliciting or hiring another competitor’s talent. New York employers and employees alike should consult with competent counsel experienced with employment restrictive covenants prior to entering into such an agreement to ensure continued compliance with this evolving area of law.


Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke is a partner in the Litigation, Labor & Employment Practice Group at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP. EDUCATION: J.D., George Washington University Law School Georgetown University - B.A., magna cum laude Nichols High School School (Buffalo, New York) EMPLOYMENT: Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP - A partner in the Litigation Practice Group INTERESTS: Member, Nichols School Alumni Board Past Board Member and Officer, Western New York Trial Lawyers Association Bennett High School's Law Magnet Program Bar Association of Erie County Annual Mock Trial Tournament Attorney Coach Past Member, Kiwanis Club of Buffalo Past Member, Child & Family Services Annual Fund Board Leadership Buffalo Graduate, Class of 2006