As discussed in previous customer warnings, efforts to prohibit the use of non-competition bans and/or strictly limit the use of competition bans have gained momentum at the federal level, with several states having already passed large-scale laws. What about Michigan? It was only a matter of time before some Michigan players took the train. If you are invited to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment or if you are concerned about an agreement you have already signed, you can call on an experienced labour lawyer. In both situations, a lawyer can advise you on how best to protect your own interests. Michigan courts will enforce competition bans that are «reasonable.» It is only a question of balancing the commercial interests of the employer with the worker`s right to work and earn a living in his profession. Under Michigan law, where a non-compete clause is challenged in court and parts of it are deemed appropriate, while other parties are deemed inappropriate, the court has the power to limit inappropriate parts of the agreement to make them enforceable. In determining whether a no-work agreement is valid, two particularly important factors must be taken into account: protected commercial interests and restrictions on the worker. A non-compete agreement cannot protect a company from legitimate competition, but if there are trade secrets and sensitive information that it wishes to keep confidential, a non-compete agreement can help protect those interests from falling into the hands of competing companies. It is often not a legitimate business interest to complicate employees, leave your business or look for another job. That is why it can be difficult to impose overly broad competition bans. Just over a month later, on August 29, 2019, the legislation itself (HB 4874) was introduced to amend Section 4a (MCL 445.774a) of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act. Hb 4874 seeks, among other things, to make the following major changes to Michigan`s non-competition clause legislation: the former employer appealed that decision, but the Court of Appeal accepted the court`s decision. The Court recognized that the Michigan courts had upheld a similar language as a reasonable prohibition on the care of a similar/competing business; Nevertheless, it made this case different because the non-competitive language was too broad.
In violation of the first criterion, it prohibited the former worker from working in any capacity for a competitor, even in a position that had nothing to do with the worker`s previous activity. The Court also found that these particular competition rules were contrary to the fourth test above, as the employer did not make reasonable arguments in favour of protecting its competitive business interests. In principle, non-competition may prevent it from using this benefit if your former employee has gained a competitive advantage over you at your expense. This section deals with the fact that Michigan courts are still somewhat supportive of non-competition prohibitions.