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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17080
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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Hi, I live and work in Pennsylvania. I had a non-compete

This answer was rated:

Hi,
I live and work in Pennsylvania. I had a non-compete and non solicitation agreement with my previous employer. This agreement restrict to join the similar business anywhere in the country with no radius defined. Their attorney is threatening me for an legal action if I do not disclose my new employer and my role. They also sending me legal communication not to talk any of my previous colleagues and treating that as a soliciting.

Moreover, this employer refused to pay my unused Paid time off and not providing me an experience letter.

I want to ask,
(1) if this employer is in breach of contract due to non-payment of the vacation benefit and
(2) can they really restrict me from joining similar business without specifying the boundaries, and
(3) What is the worst case scenario for me?

Your help is highly appreciated.

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

wallstreetfighter :

This is a common issue,

wallstreetfighter :

under the law in PA, the employer must pay you all wages that are owed, so they cannot hold onto the PTO payments unless a contract states they can not pay it.

wallstreetfighter :

You have no duty or obligation to provide them any information regarding where you will be working,

wallstreetfighter :

In terms of a non compete,

wallstreetfighter :

Non-Competes are unenforceable because they restrict competition over too broad of a territory. Oftentimes this restricted area is determined based on a certain mile radius from employer headquarters or facilities, or by a list of locations in which the employee is prohibited from competing. While these restrictions vary, the law requires the geographic scope of a restriction to be reasonable. While agreements that restrict employees from competing within a few miles of the employer's headquarters are often enforceable, agreements that prohibit an employee from competing anywhere in the world are often (though not always) unenforceable.

wallstreetfighter :

Unless the former employer has nationwide customers, and cleints,

wallstreetfighter :

clients,

wallstreetfighter :

any non compete without a geographic limit would be deemed overly broad.

Customer:

can i share my non compete, non solicitation agreement with you

wallstreetfighter :

In term of a worst case scenerio,

wallstreetfighter :

they could sue you and force you from stop working if the Court finds you are working for a competitor,

wallstreetfighter :

or you have to pay some amount of money to the former employer,

wallstreetfighter :

you can paste the non compete here,

Customer:

just a min

Customer:

unfortunatley i have it in pdf.

Attachment: 2013-07-11_211541_non_compete.pdf

Full Size Image
please find it attached


 

Customer:

the former employer does a federal contracting has contracts nationwide. Moreover, I am on H1B visa and I transfer my h1B visa with similar profile. the reason I left that company is becuase they could not do my Green card.

wallstreetfighter :

I read the non compete,

wallstreetfighter :

this is a very basic contract, and has no geographic limit,

wallstreetfighter :

and the three years may not be enforceable either,

wallstreetfighter :

if you are not working for an employer that has similar clients you would be fine,

wallstreetfighter :

at this point you should not respond to their requests, and even consider threatening them with a DOL audit, for not paying you the wages you earned, as that is a violation of the LCA they filed for you,

Customer:

the new employer also does the federal govt contracting.

wallstreetfighter :

where are they located?

Customer:

PA

Customer:

you mean new employer, they are TX based

wallstreetfighter :

If you are not competing with them, you would be fine, also, you do not have to provide any information to them,

wallstreetfighter :

The non compete without any geographic limits make the agreement hard to enforce,

wallstreetfighter :

I would threaten them with a DOL Audit,

Customer:

great.

Customer:

can i report this to USCIS?

wallstreetfighter :

Pennsylvania law typically enforces non-compete agreements that meet the following criteria:



  1. Protects a legitimate business interest

  2. Does not deprive an employee of a right to make a living

  3. Does not impose an unreasonable geographical limitation on an employee

  4. Does not remain in effect for an unreasonable amount of time

Customer:

i mean non payment of the PTOs?

wallstreetfighter :

The USCIS may take the case, however the Department of Labor handles h1b cases and audits companies that abuse the workers

wallstreetfighter :

Wage and Hour/Labor Standards - State Agency


Bureau of Labor Law Compliance
1301 Labor and Industry Building
Seventh and Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PANNN-NN-NNNNbr/>Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Toll-Free:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Web Address: http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/cwp/view.asp?a=196&Q=65894


Agency Description/Mission: The Bureau of Labor Law Compliance is responsible for the administration, education, and enforcement of labor laws. As such, it provides employers and employees with educational outreach seminars, conducts investigations and resolves disputes when complaints are received.


New Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Requirements Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum Wage and Overtime Complaint Form


Wage and Hour/Labor Standards - Local Offices of Federal Agency (DOL)


U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
ESA Wage & Hour Division
Philadelphia District Office
US Custom House, Room 350
Second & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
ESA Wage & Hour Division
Pittsburgh District Office
Federal Building
1000 Liberty Ave., Room 313
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
ESA Wage & Hour Division
Wilkes Barre District Office
7 North Wilkes Barre Blvd.
Stegmaier Bldg. Suite 373M
Wilkes Barre, PANNN-NN-NNNNbr/>Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

wallstreetfighter :

You would make a formal complaint to the local office near you for the unpaid wages,

wallstreetfighter :

you can also allege h1b abuse as well,

Customer:

thanks. can you share your contact information if needed to contact directly.

wallstreetfighter :

You can ask for wallstreetfigher esq., and I can answer your questions,

wallstreetfighter :

We are not allowed to provide personal information as well.

wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

wallstreetfighter :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback.

wallstreetfighter :

Also a three year limit would be hard to enforce as well 2 years is the maximum non compete in most States,

wallstreetfighter :

Good luck

wallstreetfighter :

Thank you,

wallstreetfighter and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you