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Employers don't want to spend thousands of dollars training new employees and integrating them into their companies, just to end up losing them to direct competitors or even to them starting their own competing businesses. That's why many employers ask new hires to sign noncompete agreements – to prevent key employees who have been entrusted with confidential business information from using it to compete against the employer after they leave. Noncompete agreements are enforced by the courts, but usually have to be reasonable in terms of geographic location and time frame, clear, and not overly restrictive. If you are a party to a noncompete agreement and are concerned about your legal rights, consulting an experienced attorney about your situation could save you a lot of grief and even legal damages.