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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27888
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I work for a company out of California who contracts with a

Customer Question

I work for a company out of California who contracts with a school district here in Texas, the school district wants to hire me directly. I have not signed a yearly contract with the California company. Can I quit the Ca company and hire on with the school district legally? This is the 3rd year I've worked with the Ca company for 2 years.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 11 months ago.

Good morning Greta,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. You say you asked to be released from your contract--and that you have not signed a contract. Con you please explain?
2. Have you signed any kind of a non-compete agreement with the company?
2. When you were hired were you a resident of CA or TX?

Doug

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Everything was done via email. I did not sign a a physical contract. They have not/did not send me a copy of the contract. I was in the process of moving from Washington state to Texas. My job(s) are here in Texas. I am a speech pathologist. Just this week, My employment was put in jeopardy when the company (CA) director tried to get more money out of the school district the day before my official contract would have started. The director literally waited until the end of the day to respond to the district. I was told not to report to work until I received notification that the CA company and the district had reached an agreement. Fortunately, I received a confirmation from the district that an agreement had been reached. The CA company never notified me that this was an issue or provided me with the option of a different position. I could have been out of a job without even knowing it and be able to look for employment on my own. This begins my 3rd year working for this company and the 3rd year in which there has been a significant SNAFU. The school district would like to hire me directly. The CA company did not respond or provide me with information about the/a non-compete clause when I asked.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 11 months ago.

Hi Greta,

Do you know for a fact whether youhave a contract or not? You say you never signed anything, but that you have a contract---which seems somewhat of a contradiction. Did you sign a contract via email with an electronic signature?

As far as you are aware---what terms does your "contract" have? Are you obligated, for example, to finish out the school year?

Have you spoken with the school to see if they have any contractual obligation to your employer---which is typical in an employee leasing scheme-0--whereby the school will have to buy your contract from the employer?

Doug

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The company never sent me a hard copy or email copy of the contract. Again, they have not responded to my request. Yes, I understand that the school district might/could buy out the contract. I have worked for contract companies before and had that happen in my last contractual situation prior to my move back to Texas for personal and health reasons.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 11 months ago.

Hi Greta,

Without knowing what your agreement holds, it is impossible for me to tell you whether you can quit working for the CA employer and go to work directly for the school. And that is your primary question.

Were you in CA, or if your agreement states that in the event of litigation that the laws of CA will apply---then I would tell you that CA makes it illegal for an employer to have a non-compete clause in their contract. But that is only a certainty where there is a CA employer and a CA employee.

I am happy to answer any question that you might have---but if you don't have the facts that will determine the outcome of the case, all I can do is tell you what the law states and when you know the facts, you will have your answer.

If you are sued in Texas, under Texas law, there would perhaps be a different result:

Like many other states, Texas law recognizes an employer's right to protect legitimate interests of their business, but the law also considers the need for an employee to earn a living. While the restrictions in a non-compete agreement may be enforced in certain circumstances, they must be found to be both reasonable in their duration, and in their geographic scope.

While a 5 year nationwide ban on competing would not be enforceable, a 1 year limitation within a number of surrounding counties in your area may well be enforceable.

Many such agreements are simply too restrictive and will not be enforced by a court. The only way to know for sure is to have your particular agreement reviewed by a local employment law attorney who can look at your present job---the overall business of your present employer, the nature of the competition in your locality and the restrictions the employer is trying to place on you.

Feel free to ask any additional questions that you have. In the meantime, because you can come back to this thread at any time---even years from now to ask a follow up question, I would ask that please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

Doug



Expert:  LawTalk replied 11 months ago.
Good evening Greta,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards your question.

Is there anything else that I can assist you with, please feel free to ask. If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thank you very much and take care.

Doug

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