In Texas there are other options to prevent departing employers from competing with your business:

A Non-Solicitation: Instead of tying down your employee with a non-compete consider a non-solicitation. The non-solicit will still have to meet non-compete standards, but it can be used for specific customers as opposed to geographic areas. The rub, there will always be a debate about the right of a customer to do business with a departing employee and whether the former employee actually solicited the business or was contacted.

 

A Non-Disclosure: An employer can always attempt to lock down an employee by preventing them from using proprietary information they were exposed to through a non-disclosure. Basically the argument is the former employee cannot work for the company’s customer because they are using the company’s propriety information. This is very close to the inevitable disclosure doctrine, which is not recognized in Texas, but a non-disclosure should certainly be considered.

 

Compensation: Can the employer somehow tie future compensation into not competing? Basically, the company will agree to make payments to the departing employee for a period of time after they depart, but payment is dependent on non-competition. The rub, the company probably cannot enforce this agreement in Court, but if the employee decides to compete they don’t get any money.

 

The Anti-Raid Provision: The anti-raid provision prevents a departing employee from hiring your employees. The rationale is to keep the departing employee from setting up shop down the street.

 

There are other options as well, but these should be considered as part of any employment agreement. The more hurdles that can be put in the way of a departing employee, the better.