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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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My company is being bought out for months and apparently the

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My company is being bought out for months and apparently the deal closed on May 1 although there is no official announcement. I have been told that I will be able to keep my job and I would get a salary increase but, I would be losing my mileage and cell phone reimbursements. I am just told that my new salary will more than make up for the difference. I then received a non compete agreement on Friday and was told I have to sign it by this coming Tuesday May 8th. My healthcare is also suffering a downgrade. I however, have not been informed about my new salary and feel I should not sign a non-compete if I do not know what my new salary will be. I feel I may be fired if I do not sign this agreement. Do I have any legal recourse if I do not sign and am terminated?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation.

I'm not sure what your new employer is thinking, but under CA law, non-compete agreements are almost all illegal and unenforceable.

CA Business and Professions Code states in pertinent part: §16600. Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.

Here is a link to the few exceptions---which do not reach to individual employees like yourself:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=16001-17000&file=16600-16607


As non-competes are not legal in CA, if you are terminated from your job because you refuse to sign such an agreement, you may well have a valid claim for Wrongful Termination, as well as being eligible for unemployment benefits.

As for whether the increase in wages will compensate for the lost benefits and reimbursements---only you can decide whether that is worthwhile to you.

If you consider a lawsuit, you will want to consult with a local Employment Law attorney to assist you.

I hope you found my answer informative.

I wish you the best in 2012.

Doug
LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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