I am sorry to hear that your business is having to deal with this.
When a former employee violates the non compete clause, the employer may sue for the following:
1. an injunction precluding the person from continuing to violate it in the future. The court can, once the injunction is violated, hold the individual in contempt, which can include fines, the award of attorney fees to the innocent party, even jail time. The violation must be knowing and willful in order to be successful in obtaining a contempt citation.
2. attorney fees incurred in enforing the non compete clause
3. monetary damages suffered by the employer as a result of the breach.
The business owner can also file a lawsuit against the new employer, citing a tortious interference with business.
So there are significant damages available, and so long as the provision is not against public policy and is binding, then the courts tend to favor enforcement to give the contract full legal effect.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.