Contract Law : A Matter Of State Law

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Contract law is generally considered a matter of state law, meaning each state in the United States has its own system of law and common law to oversee the creation of contracts and enforce the obligations set by these contracts. There is no all-encompassing federal law which regulates each states contract laws, hence creating variation and controversy between the different states laws. While there are many types of business contracts, one common contract most people will encounter in the workforce is a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements are employment contracts between an employer and their employee which places restrictions on the kinds of jobs the employee may take after leaving the company, usually for a set amount of time and in a certain geographical area. Employers generally ask employees to sign these non-disclosure agreements to protect the company’s trade secrets, however, detecting these violations can be extremely difficult and it’s easier to determine if the person has begun working for a rival company. These agreements cannot be required by an employer, but the employer may choose to terminate the employee’s contract or decide not to hire the person based upon refusal to sign (Marx, Singh, and Fleming 395). Beck Reed Riden LLP compiled research to create a chart of non-compete laws for all fifty states and DC. Their chart compares variations between the states including whether noncompete agreements are permitted, identification of protectable
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