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New York courts have long exercised caution when asked to enforce provisions of employment agreements that purport to restrain an employee from competing with his or her former employer.1 The New York Court of Appeals explained that the “judicial disfavor of these covenants is provoked by ‘powerful considerations of public policy which militate against sanctioning the loss of a man’s livelihood.’”2 Accordingly, a restrictive covenant of this type will be enforced only “to the extent that it is reasonable in time and area, necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests, not harmful to the general public and not unreasonably burdensome to the employee.”3

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