Georgia Non-Compete Law Effective May 11, 2011
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Georgia’s new covenant laws (O.C.G.A. § 13-8-51 et seq.) greatly enhancing the enforceability of employment-related restrictive covenants in Georgia do not apply to contracts entered into prior to May 11, 2011. While the ultimate authority on this question of Georgia law is the Supreme Court of Georgia, which has not ruled on this issue, for now the ruling by the Eleventh Circuit in Becham v. Crosslink Orthopaedics (June 4, 2012) should be considered definitive: covenant agreements entered into prior to May 11, 2011, will remain governed by Georgia’s traditional common law, hostile to enforceability. For covenant agreements entered into on or after May 11, 2011, Georgia’s new laws providing for greater enforceability of restrictive covenants will govern.