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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110474
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have a contract with CR England that is a no compete contract

Customer Question

I have a contract with CR England that is a no compete contract and says that if I leave them prior to 6 months I owe them $7700. My understanding is that Wisconsin doesn't allow no complete contracts. Would there be someone I can email this to for review. This is a trucking company and I'm only getting .16 per mile when I can make .40 per mile with a local company
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, non-compete agreements are enforceable in WI. The WI Supreme Court held in the case of Runzheimer Int'l, Ltd. v. Friedlen, 2015 WI 45, 362 Wis. 2d 100, 862 N.W.2d 879 (Apr. 30, 2015), that an employer can lawfully require an existing at-will employee to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of further employment without providing any other benefit to the employee.
The courts in WI state that as long as the non-compete agreement is reasonable in the scope of the restricted activity to protect a legitimate employer's interest and it is reasonable in length of time, it would be valid and enforceable in WI. WI Statute § 103.465 allows a written contractual non-compete agreement and the courts actually hold them to be enforceable. The law holds that a reasonable time for a non-compete agreement would be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the specific circumstances of the individual case. WI changed their law in 2015 to make the enforcement of these agreements easier and now allows a court to "blue pencil" the agreement or modify any clause that may not be found reasonable by the court so that the agreement would be enforceable.
So, if you signed such a contract, it would be enforceable I am afraid under the current WI laws and Supreme Court decisions.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
so if the company I'm driving for now is a refrigerated one and the one I'm going to isn't there wouldn't be compition any way right?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It says in the contract your duties were that of a "commercial truck driver" so you would be prohibited from being a commercial truck driver for another company. The restriction is for 9 months from your date of hire. It says that once the 9 months is over or if they terminate your employment, the restriction no longer applies. So the court is likely going to find that reasonable, since the contract states it is based on the investment the employer incurred in hiring you.

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