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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118689
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Is there a statute of limitations on a noncompete agreement

Customer Question

Is there a statute of limitations on a noncompete agreement I signed back in 1997 in California? I just left this company to start my own competing business and they are threatening an injunction.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 years ago.
There is no statute of limitations on the agreement because it does not actually kick in until you leave the company. If you start your own competing company, then they have the right to sue you and obtain the injunction.

However, CA does not really like non-competes in general, so it would be likely that they would not uphold it if you were not a high level employee in the company and if you went to work for another company in another city. But since you are starting a competing business, you are likely to have a problem, but you can fight them and then see what the courts say by arguing they are restricting your ability to earn a living.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Can a company barr me from working in general for a competitor, if the competitor has their own clients I would be working with?


Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 years ago.
Chances are that the CA courts would not uphold the agreement in that case. Like I said, the CA courts do not really like these agreements and if you are working in general for a competitor who has its own customers and they are not customers of your previous employer, you have a good chance of having the agreement tossed out.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
But my new employer is in Texas and I work in North Carolina. Wouldnt the document signed in California be applicable to the state I am now working in?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 years ago.
It is a good possibility that the CA courts will not enforce only if you are not competing for the old employer's customers in the new area.