Georgia Enacts Another Legislative “Fix” to Restrictive Covenant Law

Those who have followed Georgia’s restrictive covenant saga are already aware that, in 2009, Georgia enacted a law designed to rewrite the common law governing restrictive covenants in employment agreements.  The 2009 law, which was widely regarded as unconstitutional as written, was expected to become effective immediately upon passage of a constitutional amendment designed to authorize the law.  The constitutional amendment – itself a source of controversy described in other articles on this website – was passed in November 2010.  This year, the Georgia legislature passed a bill that is similar (but not identical) to the 2009 law, and Governor Deal has signed the 2011 bill into law.

Now we are faced with the task of interpreting the new law, as well as the task of determining when the 2011 law will govern the outcome of a dispute; when (if ever) the 2009 law may apply; and when the preexisting common law may apply.  These issues will be addressed in future articles to be posted on this website. Meanwhile, it looks as though the prediction by supporters of this change in the law that the new statute would “simplify” the law and cut down on litigation expenses isn’t going to hold true.

Leave a Comment