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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39021
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I currently work for a State Farm Insurance agent as a sales

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i currently work for a State Farm Insurance agent as a sales marketing specialist. Next month I am going to work for a different State Farm agent. I signed a non compete agreement 10 years ago when I was hired. My current boss is tellling me that if I see a client out in the public (say the grocery store) and they ask me where I now work, I am not allowed to tell them because they may want to switch agents. I understand I can't pursue them or pursuade them to switch agents however do I really have to say "Uh, I signed a non compete clause so I cant tell you"?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

A non-compete agreement under NY law is reasonable only if it: (1) is no greater than is required for the protection of the legitimate interest of the employer, (2) does not impose undue hardship on the employee, and (3) is not injurious to the public.

The idea that you cannot tell someone where you work under a non-compete is absurd. It does not protect the legitimte interests of the employer, beause the employer has no legitimate interest in throttling your right to freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment; it does impose a undue hardship on the employee, because it forces you to think about your response to every question in a social setting, and; it injures the public by restraining free expression in generl, because were such restraints common, no one could talk about anything with anyone.

Case dismissed.

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