Employment contracts often restrain the employee from competing with their former employer after their employment ends. These restraints can have a serious impact on employees, as they inhibit their ability to earn a livelihood. According to the restraint of trade doctrine, such restraints are only enforceable if they provide ‘reasonable’ protection for a legitimate interest of the employer. In this article, we attempt to resolve several continuing legal issues and uncertainties in the enforcement of post-employment non-compete restraints, including the scope of the employer’s legitimate interests, the relevance of the employee’s interests, the requirements for severing unreasonable restraints, the enforceability of ‘cascading’ restraints, and others.
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