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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 101011
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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I signed a contract with a new employer 3 business days ago

Customer Question

I signed a contract with a new employer 3 business days ago And forgot I signed a noncompete agreement with my present employer. The new employer says I have to take the job and my present employer will put a stop work order. The work is the same type and the companies are both govt. consulting firms. Can I get out of the contract with the new employer?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts to opt out of participation in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
What state is this in, please?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in maryland, my current and prospective employers are located in Maryland, the work is performed in DC
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize. Thanks in advance for not "shooting the messenger."
I am sorry to say that now that a contract has been signed with Employer2, Employer2 can enforce that contract. Unless it states that it allows a cancellation period or a way to void it, it does not. Now Employer2 cannot force you to work against your will. However, what they can do is sue you for the difference between what they would have been paying you, and, what they would have had to pay to someone else for the same position.
Employer1's non-compete is in force, although one can try to argue that it is "too oppressive" and not reasonable, and if so, it may be scaled down. See here.
However, the problem is that this is on a case by case basis and the Court would only rule if you (1) filed a suit asking them to do so, or, (2) simply began working for Employer2, and then if Employer1 sues, the affirmative defense of the non-compete being too oppressive may be argued. Regardless, in either scenario, there is no guarantee.
So I am afraid that this is really a very difficult position. You are now obligated to both entities, and are in a tug-and-pull scenario. Employer2 can sue you if you do not work, Employer1 can sue you if you do.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The contract states the effective date is September 1, 2015.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
sorry, but that does not change my answer. A contract is binding at time of it being signed, and not at time the work was to begin.