How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Timothy Smith Your Own Question

Timothy Smith
Timothy Smith, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  In-House Counsel for State's Largest Agency
12711280
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Timothy Smith is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was hired by a sporting goods company to show them how to

Resolved Question:

I was hired by a sporting goods company to show them how to make a certain type of uniform that they currently did not make on their own. I have been there 5 years and in that time have been through 4 different layoffs and saw the company shrink from 200 employees to 30. Recently I helped them move 95% of their production overseas and trained the staff there to run the equipment and do our jobs, I hate that I did it but I had to keep my job. I feel this place will close in the next 6 months, but they will not tell us that. I have a job offer from a company that could be considered a competitor in another state, to come in and basically show them how to make a similar uniform to what I originally showed my current employer how to do. I have an NCA with my current employer, but feel if I wait to be laid off this opportunity will be gone. I did not learn this process from my current employer, I showed them how to do it. It's also nothing that can't be learned online, everyone that does this uses the same process. Should I worry about the NCA?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Timothy Smith replied 10 months ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. NCA are enforceable as long as they are reasonable. They must be for reasonable amounts of time and within reasonable geographic limitations. Moreover, increasingly, it appears that when an individual is in a situation such as the one you are in wherein the business is on the verge of collapse, courts are unwilling to enforce the provisions of a non-compete as strictly.

 

Since you are not carrying with you proprietary information that is protected under intellectual property laws (I assume there is no patent or copyright on the design or process), then you should be fine in accepting the job and moving, even in view of the non-compete.

 

The fact that you are moving from the state certainly helps your cause.

 

While more of a personal decision than legal, you may want to let the new employer know about the NCA so they are not caught off guard if by some chance the current employer tries to make a stink about the issue. The reason I say this is a personal decision is that you know the people and how they would react. If they want your services, they will not be overly concerned about the NCA as it is likely unenforceable anyway.

 

To that point, if the current employer is struggling so bad right now, it is unlikely they are going to want to expend the legal fees to fight out the NCA anyway. More times than not, the NCA is a bluff.

 

In summary, based on the information you have provided, it is very likely that you will be perfectly fine taking the new job. NCA are enforceable based on reasonableness. Reasonableness takes into account geographic area and time. Since you are moving to another state and since the current employer is struggling, the law would indicate you will be fine.

 

Let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.

 

Best wishes going forward.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

 


Here is a copy of the NCA clause, just in case. I don't think it would change anything, to me it's kind of vague. Especially since they never even signed it... Hopefully your answer stays pretty much the same after reading it.


NCA Clause

Expert:  Timothy Smith replied 10 months ago.

Dan, that does not change anything. It is too vague, too broad, places no limitations on geography and only last for one year. Moreover, the fact that it only restricts, in essence, knowledge acquired on the job, bolsters your case even more. You had this knowledge and taught it to them...it was not acquired as a result of access to their R&D. The fact that they did not sign it is somewhat ancillary to the fact but certainly a feather in your cap and an additional argument to be made if it came down to it as well.

 

You should be in the clear based on the language of that document and predicated on what you have told me.

 

Let me know if you need anything else.

Timothy Smith, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience: In-House Counsel for State's Largest Agency
Timothy Smith and 6 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.