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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19776
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I'm in sales have been company years, in 2006 they tried to

Customer Question

I'm in sales have been for same company for 15 years, in 2006 they tried to get me to sign a non solicit/compete but had them write an addendum because I have brought all of my clients on my own (my book of business) so they said I could take them with me. Now they have a new one with a non solicit in it and it's been 2 weeks and today is the day they want me to sign it and won't write another addendum and have threatened to fire me if I don't sign. Do they have the right? Should I sign?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information, however, in order to assist you I will need to know what State you work in.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Oregon, they are asking non solicitation for 1 year after employment termination
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for not getting back to you last night, but I had already logged off for the day by the time you responded. Oregon law on non-solicitation and non-compete agreements, like in most states, is very complex and ultimately only a court can make a determination if a dispute arises involving the signing or enforcement of one after evaluating the language of the agreement, the circumstances of the signing and any issues involving enforcement.

That said, the law is very restrictive in Oregon. There is a non-compete statute that severely restricts when a non-compete agreement can be considered valid. One of the requirements is that in order for a mid-employment non-compete to be enforceable, there must have been "...substantial bona fide advancement of an employee within the company..." at the time the non-compete is signed. A fairly recent case has applied the non-compete statute to non-solicitation agreements that are drafted broadly. I have included two very good discussions of the statute and the non-solicitation application below for your review. There are many more restrictions in the statute as well as to the scope and who can be included in a non-compete, but since they are too numerous (thus the complexity) to list here, I would ask that you read the information at the link to see what they are and I will also include a link to the statute itself.

Assuming then that your situation falls outside the allowable circumstances for a valid non-compete/non-solicitiation, then, although Oregon is an employment "at will" state, it would normally be deemed unlawful to terminate an employee for refusing to sign an unenforceable agreement. That said, they might terminate you and then you would have to sue for wrongful termination, which can be expensive, especially if you are unemployed. One other option is the sign the agreement, remain employed, and then when you are ready to leave, hire an employment law attorney to file a petition to have the non-solicitation agreement declared unenforceable by the court for violation of the statute. That way, you can job search and work without the threat of an injunction and law suit. That though is up to you.

The following are the links I promised. I will be gone for most of the day, but if you have follow up questions after reading the information at the links below, please ask and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If none, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

https://www.osbar.org/publications/bulletin/07augsep/practice.html

https://www.sussmanshank.com/employment-ealert-is-your-non-solicitation-agreement-really-an-improper

http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/653.295

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 16th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

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