BUSINESS AND COMMERCE CODE
TITLE 2. COMPETITION AND TRADE PRACTICES
CHAPTER 15. MONOPOLIES, TRUSTS AND CONSPIRACIES IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE
SUBCHAPTER E. COVENANTS NOT TO COMPETE
Sec. 15.50. CRITERIA FOR ENFORCEABILITY OF COVENANTS NOT TO COMPETE. (a) Notwithstanding Section 15.05 of this code, and subject to any applicable provision of Subsection (b), a covenant not to compete is enforceable if it is ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement at the time the agreement is made to the extent that it contains limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained that are reasonable and do not impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee.
(b) A covenant not to compete relating to the practice of medicine is enforceable against a person licensed as a physician by the Texas Medical Board if such covenant complies with the following requirements:
(1) the covenant must:
(A) not deny the physician access to a list of his patients whom he had seen or treated within one year of termination of the contract or employment;
(B) provide access to medical records of the physician’s patients upon authorization of the patient and any copies of medical records for a reasonable fee as established by the Texas Medical Board under Section 159.008, Occupations Code; and
(C) provide that any access to a list of patients or to patients’ medical records after termination of the contract or employment shall not require such list or records to be provided in a format different than that by which such records are maintained except by mutual consent of the parties to the contract;
(2) the covenant must provide for a buy out of the covenant by the physician at a reasonable price or, at the option of either party, as determined by a mutually agreed upon arbitrator or, in the case of an inability to agree, an arbitrator of the court whose decision shall be binding on the parties; and
(3) the covenant must provide that the physician will not be prohibited from providing continuing care and treatment to a specific patient or patients during the course of an acute illness even after the contract or employment has been terminated.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply to a physician’s business ownership interest in a licensed hospital or licensed ambulatory surgical center.
Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1193, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 965, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1574, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.729, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 971 (H.B. 3623), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.
Sec. 15.51. PROCEDURES AND REMEDIES IN ACTIONS TO ENFORCE COVENANTS NOT TO COMPETE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (c) of this section, a court may award the promisee under a covenant not to compete damages, injunctive relief, or both damages and injunctive relief for a breach by the promisor of the covenant.
(b) If the primary purpose of the agreement to which the covenant is ancillary is to obligate the promisor to render personal services, for a term or at will, the promisee has the burden of establishing that the covenant meets the criteria specified by Section 15.50 of this code. If the agreement has a different primary purpose, the promisor has the burden of establishing that the covenant does not meet those criteria. For the purposes of this subsection, the “burden of establishing” a fact means the burden of persuading the triers of fact that the existence of the fact is more probable than its nonexistence.
(c) If the covenant is found to be ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement but contains limitations as to time, geographical area, or scope of activity to be restrained that are not reasonable and impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee, the court shall reform the covenant to the extent necessary to cause the limitations contained in the covenant as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained to be reasonable and to impose a restraint that is not greater than necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee and enforce the covenant as reformed, except that the court may not award the promisee damages for a breach of the covenant before its reformation and the relief granted to the promisee shall be limited to injunctive relief. If the primary purpose of the agreement to which the covenant is ancillary is to obligate the promisor to render personal services, the promisor establishes that the promisee knew at the time of the execution of the agreement that the covenant did not contain limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained that were reasonable and the limitations imposed a greater restraint than necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee, and the promisee sought to enforce the covenant to a greater extent than was necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee, the court may award the promisor the costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, actually and reasonably incurred by the promisor in defending the action to enforce the covenant.
Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1193, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 965, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Sec. 15.52. PREEMPTION OF OTHER LAW. The criteria for enforceability of a covenant not to compete provided by Section 15.50 of this code and the procedures and remedies in an action to enforce a covenant not to compete provided by Section 15.51 of this code are exclusive and preempt any other criteria for enforceability of a covenant not to compete or procedures and remedies in an action to enforce a covenant not to compete under common law or otherwise.
Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 965, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/BC/htm/BC.15.htm
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