Prohibiting competition a fine balanceRestrictive covenants in employment contractsBy Mark Mason10/16/2002|Canadian Employment Law Today BackgroundEmployers often attempt to protect themselves from competition from former employees by including non-competition and non-solicitation clauses, known as restrictive covenants, in employment contracts. Non-competition clauses prohibit competition from former employees for a prescribed period of time and within a defined geographic area. Non-solicitation clauses prohibit solicitation of company clients or other employees by former employees.Courts generally treat restrictive covenants as unenforceable because they limit a former employee's ability to earn a living. Such covenants will only be found enforceable if they are reasonable between the parties and with reference to the public interest. When determining whether a restrictive covenant is reasonable, the courts are required to balance the competing interests of free and open competition against the right of parties to enter into contracts. To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.