The Difference Between A Non-Competition Agreement And A Non-Solicitation Agreement

It can be difficult for an employer to enforce a non-competition agreement that prevents workers such as sales people from working for a competitor.

In those situations, it’s hard to argue that there is a proprietary interest that the organization has a right to protect. In those situations, a non-solicitation agreement would be preferable because it prevents the employee from approaching and soliciting the same clients that his previous employer was dealing with. A non-competition agreement takes the employee out of his area of expertise, saying he can’t work as a salesman. Courts are really reluctant to do this except in the most extreme situations.

A non-solicitation agreement would prevent an employee from soliciting the people on his previous employer’s client list and courts prefer that because it is a reasonable restriction. But to prevent that person from working within sales is unreasonable. From an organizational standpoint, though, in order to prevent an employee from soliciting those clients, an obligation has to be written and signed, because there isn’t any common law restriction post-termination. You need to have something written down and agreed to prior to employment or during employment.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with employment law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, contact Law Office of Melynda Layton.

This article is taken from an interview with Melynda Layton, Employment Lawyer at Law Office of Melynda Layton , an Ottawa, Ontario Employment Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.