I'm an optometrist and have an employment contract with a non-compete in it. The Dr. that has my contract holds has a lease through a national chain that has decided not to renew his lease. He is ending my wife's employment as a result. Can the non-compete be enforced after that?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Connecticut
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.* If you experience technical problems, please XXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXX.XXXHello,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X be happy to provide you with information today. Is your wife the optometrist subject to the noncompete? If not how is your noncompete related to your wife's job loss?
Sorry, my wife is the optometrist, I am her personal assistant running down this question for her. I put myself as the optometrist for simplification purposes but goofed that one up.
No problem.Does the noncompete contain a clause regarding Termination without fault?
I'm not sure of the exact wording, I don't have it in front of me. I can uPdate later tonight. However, let me provide some context for why I am asking. As a result of her contract being terminated, she wants to open up a Practice within the nonompete limits. She already has her employer admitting in email that the contract is no longer valid and verbal approval to work within the limits. He doesn't know she is opening on her own and we want to understand legally what he can hold us to.
I am working on your answer. One moment please.
Thank you so much for the backgroundI am a licensed attorney but I am not your attorney. The law does not allow me to provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship on this public forum. If at any time the information which I provide is not clear to you or does not fully answer your question, please ask me for clarification by using the reply button. Obviously it would be best to have the employer sign a release of the noncompete. However for purposes of our discussion I will assume that the employer will not sign a release of the noncompete and that the contract itself does not release your wife from the noncompete in the event of termination that is not based upon faultIn the Connecticut case of Gartner Group, Inc. v. Mewe, it was determined that a "reasonable" noncompete agreement is enforceable even if the employer terminates the employee without fault on the part of the employee. However if the employer has breached the Employment Contract, the employee may raise that as a defense to the enforceability of the noncompete.In determining whether an agreement is reasonable, the court has developed a 5 prong test: 1. Length of time of the restriction. 2. Geographic scope. 3. Fairness of the protection provided to the employer 4. How much the non-compete restricts the employee from pursuing their occupation. 5. Extent of any interference with the public interest. I think this is what you wanted to know. Please let me know if I have answered your question or whether you would like further information
What about the employer saying the entire contract is not valid any more? Does that carry any weight?
It does not carry any weight unless he puts it in writing. This is known as a "release"
He put it in email, does that count?
Yes an e-mail is admissible as a writing and therefore may be used to invalidate the agreement.
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