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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5568
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I have a specific questions regarding getting out of

Customer Question

I have a specific questions regarding getting out of non-compete clauses as a medical professional. Please, only advise if you have experience with this. I am a physician assistant who moved to another state for a job position that I began officially February 8th. I am looking to leave my job, because it is a toxic environment. My employer even threatened to change the terms of my contract by cutting my salary in half, because the office cannot sustain everyone's salaries. I know the contract can become breach if this happens. However, I want to leave before this can happen. I have a non-compete clause that I cannot practice in my specialty within a 20 mile radius of the office location. I did sign a contract that I would begin receiving benefits, but none have started since I have not completed 90 days of employment yet. There is no mention of a probationary 90 days in the contract, but all employees at this office who do receive benefits do not receive them until they have completed the period. I can send a copy of my contract and compensation worksheet for clarification. Again, please only respond if you have experience on non-competes.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
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. As a physician assistant you do not have any, nor have you gained any, specific and exclusive knowledge of medicine or the medical practice that you didn't know before you joined this practice. The underlined factors 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.I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

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