A Kansas Non-Compete Agreement is an employment contract often used by employers or businesses to prevent workers from taking employment with a competitor or setting up a competing firm for a period of time after leaving work.
In Kansas, a court will review a non-compete agreement to ensure that it is reasonable under the circumstances, that it protects a legitimate business interest, that it is reasonable in time and space, and that it neither places any undue burden on the employee nor is injurious to the public interest or welfare.
Agreements that place too great a restriction on the employee’s ability to practice their trade will be deemed unenforceable.
Reasonable Uses and Objections
- Enforceable when terminated without cause? – Yes.
- Employee non-solicitation agreement permitted? – Yes.
- Customer non-solicitation agreements permitted? – Yes.
- Does continuing employment equal sufficient consideration? – Yes.
- Statute of Limitation for Breach of Contract: 5 years.
Legally Enforceable in Kansas?
Kansas has no specific statutes governing non-competition agreements. This does not mean a Kansas court will decline to enforce a non-compete agreement. Instead, when presented with a dispute over a non-competition agreement, a Kansas court will examine traditional principles of common law and contract law to determine the validity and enforceability of a non-compete agreement.
In Kansas, non-compete agreements should be narrowly tailored to protect the employer’s interests while preserving the worker’s right to seek gainful employment. The employer may protect certain interests, such as trade secrets, customer lists, or contacts. The employer may also protect an interest in providing an employee with highly specialized training.
In contrast, Kansas courts have held that general training as part of employment is not a sufficiently strong employer interest to justify a non-compete agreement. General skills obtained while working for an employer are something an employee can reasonably expect to transfer to another job without being restricted by a non-compete agreement.
Should a non-compete agreement be found overbroad, courts in Kansas will sometimes seek to salvage the agreement by construing the agreement narrowly, either as to a geographic region or scope of time. A Kansas employer might reasonably expect a narrowly tailored and carefully drafted non-compete agreement to be sustained.
Kansas courts will uphold “reasonable” time limits. In Weber v. Tillman, 913 P.2d 84, (Kansas, 1996), a two-year limit was upheld as reasonable.
Kansas courts view non-compete agreements with wide geographical restrictions unfavorably and may decline to enforce them.
An employer’s ability to limit accountants’ employment through non-compete agreements is restricted.
Download a Kansas Non-Compete Agreement template in PDF or Word format below: