Court ruling makes changes to noncompetition clauses

Q&A with Todd Court

published in The Oklahoman | July 7, 2009

McAfee & Taft employment attorney Todd Court was interviewed for an Oklahoman feature about a case decided by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals and how it affects the enforceability of noncompetition agreements between employers and employees in Oklahoma.

Court told The Oklahoman that the Inergy Propane, LLC v. Lundy decision was the appeals court’s first in-depth look at the 2001 Oklahoma statute.

“The Court declared that the statute only allows an employer to contractually prohibit a former employee from directly soliciting the employer’s established customers, and that the enforceability of such an agreement will depend on the reasonableness of the restrictions placed upon the former employee, such as how long the employee is contractually prohibited from directly soliciting established customers, and the territory in which the employee is prohibited from direct solicitation,” Court told The Oklahoman.

“The court further noted that the law only allows the employer to prohibit active solicitation by the employee. The employer cannot prevent the employee from accepting business from the employer’s customers that seek out the former employee.”