Publication Date



Crafting effective and enforceable restrictive covenants
ancillary to employment contracts has befuddled and
vexed attorneys, courts, and businesses in Georgia for
decades. Tracing its development through more than four
hundred years of judicial decisions, Georgia's common law
has grown increasingly contradictory, confusing, and
convoluted. Until the passage of the Restrictive Covenant
Act, Georgia judges grew increasingly hostile to restrictive
covenants; however, they failed to maintain a coherent set
of guidelines for evaluating such covenants. The
Restrictive Covenant Act marks a turning point in Georgia
employment law, and this Note provides a defense of the
The Restrictive Covenant Act is designed to attract
businesses to Georgia, boost employment, raise wages, and
increase the standard of living. The Act significantly
shifts public policy by adding pro-firm policies to balance
its predominantly pro-employee common law. A careful
study of the Act's provisions shows that it will not unduly
harm employees' interests in Georgia. Additionally, this

Note urges Georgia courts to further improve the Act's
fairness and efficacy by adopting a per se rule that would
protect employees who fall outside the defined parameters
of the Act. This per se rule would act as an additional
policing agent for employers who try to enforce restrictive
covenants against this class of employees who may have
strong regional or community ties but lack bargaining
power or company influence. This Note finally provides a
compelling look into the inspiration for and development
of the Restrictive Covenant Act: An interview with Georgia
General Assembly Representative Wendell Willard,
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and author
of the Restrictive Covenant Act.