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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18846
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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My company was acquired 3 years ago. I am one of their top

Customer Question

Hi, my company was acquired 3 years ago. I am one of their top sales reps. this year when they are planning to have us sign non compete agreements. can they withhold my pay if I don't sign? I am planning on resigning on 2/1 and just have to get thru the next couple of weeks to do so. I will start at another company 3/1 which I do not plan on telling them about. just leaving to consider my options. how do I avoid signing between now and then and also know what my rights are about getting paid for what I have already sold
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

They can't withhold earned pay, as that would be a violation of your state's wage payment act. You'd be able to file a complaint with your Department of Labor or a lawsuit to have the pay issue resolved.

The harder part here though is not signing it before you leave. They can essentially give you an ultimatum that you either sign it or you no longer have a job. That's not illegal and if they are making signing the document a part of continued employment, you can't avoid that in any legal way other than refusing to sign it and losing the job sooner than you'd like.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required.

If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
you did not really answer me. I resigned/retired from this current company. I never signed a non complete, just a confidentiality thing not to steal their trade secrets but they don't make anything so not sure what that is for... and I will probably join another company soon...since I did not sign a noncompete I should be free to work wherever I want correct? their departure paperwork references a non compete but I checked with HR before I left as I knew I never signed it (we were acquired by this company and I refused to sign a non compete when asked 3 or 4 years ago...) they ruined our company so now I am leaving..I am 66 and decided to use that as my excuse to exit w/o fan fare but will come out of "retirement" when I am ready in a few months...so just want to be sure I am a free ...thanks.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

For some reason, this question states that it has prior replies, but they are not showing up. I'll address everything I see here anew.

As you did not sign a non-compete agreement, you are free to work where ever you want and you are free to work with whichever client that you wish.

Making reference to a non-compete which you have not signed has no legal effect, so that is not cause for concern for you.

Nothing about stating that you were leaving to retire and then going back to work is an issue for concern either. As an "at will" employee, you don't have to legally justify leaving.

Your only concern then is not using their proprietary information or disclosing those "trade secrets (if there are any)" to the new employer or anyone else.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.