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Patrick, Esq.
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I have worked for IDG for 12 years. I signed a Non-Compete

Resolved Question:

I have worked for IDG for 12 years. I signed a Non-Compete 1-year after employment. I have re-located 3 times with the company and want to move back to my home town where my daughter and granddaughter are. I have been offered a job by Ferguson/Mosely working at home. I tried to give my resignation last week, but the CEO keeps calling and making counter offers. He has told me that I CAN NOT work for a competitor for 1 year after I leave the company. I am out of the 50 mile radius stated in the contract. I live in NC. Can IDG take me to court? What are my chances of winning? Will I be able to work?

Thanks
Shelia
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you, I will do everything I can to answer your question.

To be clear, does your non-compete only prevent you from engaging in competition within a 50 mile radius? Is the competitor's main office located within that radius? Your home?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yes, the agreement states with a 50 mile radius of where I am currently working. I travel, but am working in a location that is 85 or 90 miles away. The Corporate Office is out of the 50 miles as well.


 


My home is out of the 50 miles.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Sheila,

Thank you very much for your reply. North Carolina is a state which permits "reasonable" non-compete agreements, and a curtailment on your ability to compete for one year within a 5 mile radius would be regarded by any court as "reasonable."

Fortunately, however, pursuant to the terms of your contract, accepting this new position would not constitute a breach. Your agreement clearly states that you may not engage in competition within a 50 mile radius, but neither your home office location or your new employer's principle office location are within this distance. Your employer cannot retroactively change your non-compete agreement to include a larger radius.

Thus, pursuant to the black and white terms of your agreement, accepting this new position would be completely legal. If your employer were to sue you on the ground that you breached your non-compete, not only would you win but you would likely also be entitled to an award of sanctions against your former employer for bringing a frivolous lawsuit. Foy v. Hunter, 418 S.E.2d 299 (N.C.App. 1992)

In other words, an individual under these circumstance should be able to proceed forward with confindence in accepting their new job, as acceptance does not constitute a breach of the express terms of the non-compete.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6755
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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