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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32587
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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I was put in a position that I had to sign a 24 month

Customer Question

Hello.
I was put in a position that I had to sign a 24 month non compete agreement (governing state is PA) in order to participate in my companies stock sharing plan that vest 3 yrs later. I now want to leave the company. Is a 24 month non compete enforceable? Can they really prevent me from working and earning a living in my chosen profession for 24 months???
Signed, Texas
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Unfortunately, in both Texas and PA 24 months is not considered automatically unreasonable. That is the top limit that courts routinely find reasonable which is likely the reason it was chosen. Above that and you start having an argument. Bot PA and Texas recognize non-compete agreements as valid so long as the geographical restriction and the duration are reasonable. As to the geographical restriction it is wherever the employer regularly does business and a duration of two years. Anything that doesn't meet those requirements and the non-compete begins to be challengeable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I work for a global company so there is no geographical restriction. The agreement says global. So I take it I cannot work anywhere in the world? Doesn't seem reasonable? During this restriction does my current employer need to pay me? Best I can tell is no they do not? If that is so, how does one support a family if they cannot work in my profession? Again, does that meet the reasonable test?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
When the employer gets into a global restriction the court is a lot tougher on what they allow. They will usually allow a state restriction but are tougher about allowing it to be nationwide and thus even tougher on it being world wide.
No, there is no requirement that you be paid during non-compete time unless the agreements says they must and I've never seen one that said that.
The court does not look at whether it restricts you from earning a living, that isn't a consideration since you could have chosen not to sign the non-compete and not taken the job. They look at whether it is reasonable as to time and geographic restriction and whether it truly protects the company in some way.

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