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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18811
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I just ended my employment with a company in Pittsburgh and

Customer Question

Hello, I just ended my employment with a company in Pittsburgh and I'm starting a new job with a company in New Jersey, based in Berlin. I work remotely from Colorado. There is a non-compete with my previous employer and I have taken a job from a competitor. The noncompete is written with a Delaware jurisdiction. My agreement with my new company is also under Delaware jurisdiction. Is this noncompete enforceable?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 5 months 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.

The Delaware jurisdiction is really just which states law applies to the agreement. It can be enforced in any state, depending on the remaining provisions of the agreement.

When you are talking about the enforceability of a non-compete, you have to look at how restrictive it is. The more restrictive, the less likely it is to be enforced. So, an agreement restricting any competition at all, across the entire U.S....that's too restrictive and wouldn't be enforced.

However, a less restrictive agreement could be. For instance, if an agreement just restricts you in a specific geographic area (30 miles from where you previously worked) that agreement is more narrow and can be enforceable. If the agreement is also short, that helps. 6 months to a year long, and the agreement is seen as less restrictive (and more enforceable).

On the facts you've outlined here, there really is no way to know if the agreement is enforceable. Nothing in your facts suggests that it would automatically be invalidated, so I have to begin with the assumption that it is enforceable. The only way to really know is to review the entire agreement, seeing just how restrictive it is and then look specifically at this competitor to see how it fits into the restricted clientele of the agreement.

If you'd like to post the agreement here, I'd be happy to review it.

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