Texas law on non-compete agreements is stricter than many states. In Texas, the non-compete can be enforceable only if the employer provides some sort of confidential information in exchange for the non-compete agreement. Typically, the employer provides some trade secret or other proprietary information. Mike Maslanka pens another excellent post and discusses the state of non-compete law in Texas. He discusses the case of Marsh USA Inc, Et Al v. Cook. The lower court of appeals found that since no confidential information passed from employer to employee, then the non-compete signed by Rex Cook is not valid. Marsh argues that the mere exchange of money serves to make the non-compete binding. As Mike explains, the arguments are cloaked in legal jargon. But, in reality, they reflect core Texas values, such as supporting individual entrepreneurs versus securing the fruits of hard-won business success.
The Texas Supreme Court has accepted the case for appeal. If Marsh wins, then non-compete agreements will become much more common,as my friend Chris McKinney notes.