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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 29084
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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My issue is regarding non-compete clauses in employment

Customer Question

My issue is regarding non-compete clauses in employment agreements in the healthcare field in the state of Hawaii.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I work on one island in a particular field of medicine (a specialty). My employment agreement states that I cannot work in this specialty in all of the major areas of the island - where other medical offices are. Can this be enforced? I am a medical provider.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If you are in the type of position where patients might be willing to change hospitals or offices just to continue receiving treatment from you, then that's a valid basis for a non-compete agreement. It's valid if it's found to be reasonable in time and geographic scope. If your prior employer serviced the entire island, you can be prohibited from working anywhere on the island. Restrictions of one year or less are nearly always enforceable. Beyond that, a judge would have to decide whether it's reasonable for you to be prohibited from working in your prior field. A judge would also look at whether you are able to still work as a doctor, but not in that specific specialty, when deciding whether the restriction is reasonable.

One option is to ask any potential new employer if they would be willing to buy out your non-compete so you could continue working before the stated time is up. Or you could try to negotiate a resolution with your former employer on your own.

There also must be consideration for the agreement. For example, if they asked you to sign after you told them you were leaving, the agreement would only be valid if you were paid for signing it or received something else of value that you weren't already entitled to. Continued employment is generally considered adequate consideration, so if you signed the agreement at any time before that, then it's probably meets that requirement.

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