An Ohio non-solicitation agreement is a type of restrictive contract that prohibits an employee from taking away clients, customers, employees, or other contacts of their former employer. A company’s business relationships, staff included, are cultivated over time and thus are a valuable asset and a legitimate protectable interest in accordance with common law.
A non-solicitation agreement can protect this interest by preventing a terminated employee or contractor from taking these contacts with them when they leave. An employer must make sure that they don’t create an agreement that is too broad, such as including potential clients or individuals no longer in their employ; this may cause a court of law to deem the contract unreasonable and void.
- Statutes: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Legally Enforceable?: Yes, if a non-solicitation is reasonable and is established only to protect legitimate business interests, it is enforceable (Century Business Services v. Urban, 179 Ohio App. 3d 111 (Ohio Ct. App. 2008)).
- Requirements: There are no requirements set forth in Ohio statutes, but NSAs are governed by common law in the same manner as non-compete agreements. When a court of law judges restrictive covenants, they will try to determine whether the restrictions are overbroad, impose an undue hardship on the employee, or are injurious to the public (Professional Investigations v. Kingsland, 69 Ohio App. 3d 753 (Ohio Ct. App. 1990)).
Related Forms (2)
Ohio Non-Compete Agreement – Prohibits a former employee from engaging in activities that would create unfair competition against their former employee.
Ohio Non-Disclosure Agreement – Establishes an agreement of confidentiality between two (2) parties where one (1) or both of them are sharing trade secrets.