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I'm a Washington state licensed attorney and have never heard of a non-compete agreement law or WAC. There are, of course, many many cases. I think they're all handled based on contract law.
If you tell me a bit more about the situation I can do a better job of helping you.
What would help is if I knew whether the software engineer is asked to sign the non-compete at the time of hiring or after he or she is already working there. Then I can look up some cases for you.
OK, thanks. That kind of request is extremely common and is allowed. If the non-compete is really outrageous then a court may throw it out when the employee leaves the company and wants to work somewhere else.
Here is a link written by an excellent WA state employment trial attorney that may answer some of your questions. I am on a listserv with her and I consider her one of the experts in Washington: http://djillpugh.typepad.com/employment_law_blog/2006/02/are_noncompete_.html
I have a feeling that the blog will answer any questions you may have. If it does, please click "accept." If not, please write again.
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