Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Non-competes are good the duration of your employment regardless of how long you work for an employer or whether your job duties change. The law considers your continued employment as consideration for the enforceability of a non-compete.
A non-compete agreement will only be enforced against a former employee if the agreement meets all three prongs of the test laid out by the courts. The law requires that for a non-compete clause to be enforceable, an employer must show reasonableness, in that (1) it has a legitimate business interest sufficient to justify enforcement of the non-compete clause; (2) that the clause does not cause the former employee undue hardship; and (3) that enforcement of the clause will not be harmful to the public.
Under this three part test, courts consider several factors when determining whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable, including: (i) how long the restriction lasts and the geographic area that the restriction covers, (ii) whether the employee was the sole contact with customers, (iii) whether the employee possesses confidential information or trade secrets, (iv) whether the covenant operates to bar the employee's sole means of support, (v) whether the covenant seeks to stifle the inherent skill and experience of the employee, (vi) the likelihood that the employee can find other employment if the restriction is enforced and (vii) whether the benefit to the employer is disproportional to the detriment of the employee.
Courts are very fact-specific in their interpretation of the non-compete agreement and the facts and circumstances involved in the matter. Litigation of these matters quickly become costly. You very well may have one or several of the factors stated above in your favor.
However, unless you are willing to take the matter to court to have the contract ruled invalid or the prospective employer is willing to hire you in spite of this agreement and risk the litigation by your current employer, you'll not truly know if the employer can enforce its agreement. In short, only a court can definitively tell you whether the non-compete is enforceable, but these are the factors that would be considered by a court.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).