Early Court Opinions Construing Georgia’s New Non-Compete Statute Confirm Need for Employers to Execute New Agreements.

October 22, 2012

Attorney at Law Magazine, September Issue

Last year, Georgia enacted a new non-compete statute (O.C.G.A. §13-8-50 et seq.) that drastically altered the law applying to non-compete agreements in the state. Georgia was previously one of the most difficult states in which to enforce a non-compete agreement, but overnight, Georgia law and public policy changed to become more favorable to employers. The most significant deviation from the prior law is that courts are now allowed to judicially “blue-pencil”, i.e. modify, non-compete agreements that are deemed to be overbroad.

Before this change, Georgia courts had no choice but to rule as void any non-compete that did not meet Georgia’s strict drafting requirements. Under the new statute, however, any agreement is potentially enforceable to some degree, but only if the non-compete agreement was executed on or after the effective date; the new statute expressly does not apply to agreements that pre-date it.

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