Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Yes you can get out of it. Non-compete agreements in an instance like you explain not enforceable because you do not have any proprietary business information that was specifically garnered from DD that will be of any use to Starbucks.
For a non-compete agreement to be enforced an employer must show reasonableness, in that (1) it has a legitimate business interest sufficient to justify enforcement of the non-compete clause; (2) that the clause does not cause the former employee
undue hardship; and (3) that enforcement of the clause will not be harmful to the public.
Under this three part test, courts consider several factors when determining whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable, including: (i) how long the restriction lasts and the geographic area that the restriction covers (generally no more than 2 years and reasonable local area will be reasonable), (ii) whether the employee was the sole contact with customers, (iii) whether the employee possesses confidential information or trade secrets, (iv) whether the covenant operates to bar the employee's sole means of support, (v) whether the covenant seeks to stifle the inherent skill and experience of the employee, (vi) the likelihood that the employee can find other employment if the restriction is enforced and (vii) whether the benefit to the employer is disproportional to the detriment of the employee.
Factors ii to vii above support that the agreement not be enforceable against you. However, unless you are willing to take the matter to court to have the contract
ruled invalid or a prospective employer is willing to hire you in spite of this agreement and risk the litigation
by your employer, you'll not truly know if they can enforce its agreement. In short, only a court can definitively tell you whether the non-compete is enforceable, but these are the factors that would be considered by a court, and you'd have I believe a good chance to have the non-compete ruled unenforceable.
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