Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
How has the employer not delivered on the job details, please explain what you mean by that. Were the job details/description a part of the same contract in which the non-compete was listed, and which I presume you signed off on?
I see. In this scenario, because they promised you a very specific job, and did not deliver on that promise, you could have the contract ruled void by a court. You'd claim fraud in the inducement (alleging they knew they didn't have the position and offered you it anyway) and/or breach of contract in that they didn't give you the work they promised in that contract in any event. Now, this isn't a guarantee they will not sue you and that you will not have to defend a case if you leave and compete. What I am stating is that you have a defense, and quite a good one, in the event that they do sue you for competing with them. The alternative is you go on the offensive in what is called a declaratory action and ask the court yourself to rule the contract void; you do that before they sue you. In short, only a court can tell you that your contract is void for these reasons...not me...not their lawyer...or any lawyer you hire.
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