The information below is intended to help employees understand how Maryland courts have analyzed non-compete rules between workers and employers. As you may have guessed, the courts analyze these non-competition agreements in a factual way. Although the following discussion focuses only on non-compete agreements, Maryland courts analyze confidentiality, non-request and confidentiality agreements to protect confidential or secret information within the same analytical framework they use to analyze non-compete agreements. If a court finds that there is too broad a language in a non-competition clause, such as excessive geographical limitation, it can use „blue pencils“ to save it. If the court of tongue blue pencils too wide in a non-competition agreement, it is only permissible to remove, not complete or reorganize the language of the offensive contract. See Fowler v. Printers II, Inc., 89 md. App. 448, 465-66 (1991). The Maryland Temporary Court of Appeals described the blue pencils as follows: In addition to the non-request for accounts or customers, a „non-compete agreement“ generally contains a provision prohibiting former employees from asking their former employees to leave the old company with them. Therefore, it is considered that a non-compete clause or any conflict clause contrary to the law is null and void on its surface. If an employer accuses a worker earning less than the maximum wage specified in the NCICA of violating a non-compete or conflict of interest clause, the worker would have an affirmative insult to the charge.
The employee only has to prove that he or she earns $15.00 per hour, or $31,200 per year, to defeat an employer`s assertion. However, if the court finds, under the Blue Pencil Act, that certain provisions of your non-competition clause are inoperative or inappropriate, the court may decide to make these arrangements, while the rest of the contract remains intact. Once the impugned provisions have been made, the Tribunal will determine whether the no-competition agreement is still applicable and valid.