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New Hampshire Legislation Alert: NH Employers Must Provide Notice of Non-Compete Agreements (RSA 275:70)

Alert
08.23.2012

Employers in New Hampshire making offers of employment are now required to provide prospective employees a copy of any required non-compete agreement prior to or at the time such an offer is made.  The new law, effective as of July 14, 2012, also requires that employers provide a copy of the non-compete agreement to any employee being offered a "change in job classification."  Any non-compete agreement not so provided to an employee or prospective employee is "null and void." 

How will this new law affect existing non-compete agreements?

It is unclear at this time what effect this new legislation will have on existing non-compete agreements entered into prior to the effective date of RSA 275:70.  It is also unclear whether the term "non-compete" used in the statute is meant to encompass similar and often related restrictive covenants like non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. 

Regardless of the uncertainty remaining, employers desiring to have employees sign enforceable non-compete agreements in the State of New Hampshire should consider the following steps to help improve the likelihood that their non-compete agreements will be enforceable:

  • Offer letters should be revised to include a copy of any non-compete, non-disclosure, and/or confidentiality agreement desired by the employer as a condition of employment. 
  • Adopting a more formal process for making job changes to ensure that a copy of any required non-compete agreement is provided at the time the offer of job change is made. 
  • Adding an acknowledgement to the non-compete agreement whereby the employee acknowledges that s/he received a copy of the non-compete agreement prior to or concurrently with the offer of employment. 
  • Maintaining detailed records of all job offers made to prospective or current employees to evidence the date the copy of the non-compete agreement was provided.

Questions?

We welcome your questions on this new legislation or other business law issues. Contact John Sullivan at jsullivan@preti.com, Peter Callaghan at pcallaghan@preti.com or Matthew Lane at mattlane@preti.com.



New Hampshire Non-Compete Agreements