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Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Thank you for your patience as I review the question.
As a general rule, yes, noncompete agreements are enforceable in Michigan. Michigan courts will enforce noncompetes that are "reasonable." Just what is reasonable is a matter of balancing the employer's business interest against the right of the employee to work and earn a living in his or her trade. Under Michigan law, if a noncompete is challenged in court and parts of it are found to be reasonable while other parts are found to be unreasonable, the court has the discretion to limit the unreasonable portions of the agreement in order to make it enforceable.
However, the enforcement of a noncompete, from the employer's perspective is pretty expensive. So, it often goes no further than a cease and desist letter, unless the employee's new position is doing some real harm to the prior employer's business. Whether or not your employer will seek aggressive enforcement is a risk analysis only you can determine.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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