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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18904
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I have a non-compete in my employment contract as an

Customer Question

I have a non-compete in my employment contract as an accountant for a consulting company. If one of my clients left my employer's services and I also quit and then later I went to work for them, but it was still within the 1 year non-compete period, can I be sued by my employer? I have been told that non-competes generally won't hold up against an employee who needs to work. Also, I recently moved 3000 miles away from my employer and am working from home for them.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 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.

I'm not sure who told you about non-compete agreements, but I would not rely on their statement. It is not true that non-competes are generally ignored. They are disfavored, but that simply means that courts will scrutinize how they are written and just what you are stopped from doing in the agreement.

Courts look to see if the restrictions are reasonable. Being restricted from working in the field that you worked in, entirely throughout the country, that's going to be considered too restrictive. Being restricted from competing for 3 or 4 years, that's going to be considered too restrictive.

However, if your agreement just restricts from you working with clients that you worked with while employed by the company, that is seen as sufficiently narrow restriction, as it tries to capture only direct competition with clients that you had some dealing with. Likewise, a one year agreement is seen as reasonable, because it is on the short end of enforceable.

The distance that you mentioned here and your need for work are not actually legal factors for consideration in this question. On the facts you've given, I would say that the former employer can sue you. Whether it will be worth their effort or not is really up to them though.

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. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 months ago.

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