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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5686
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I have a non compete that states it will be governed by the

Customer Question

I have a non compete that states it will be governed by the State of New Jersey. I live in Texas. It was signed in 2012. My position changed in that I was promoted a year after a company acquisition in the same business and took on a higher level, more people, added territory in Latin America, etc. but did not sign another non compete. My role also just changed again a few days ago in that the additional people and territory given to me a year ago was just reduced. Is it still enforceable? Also, the current company I work for has an extremely small market share compared to the company I am looking at going to work for. The company I am looking at working for is already the largest in the field.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, my role with a potential new company would be to promote their full line of products including about 12 different product lines of which only 2 are offered by my current company in the territory I would work in. I will also just be focused on national account relationship with all the products line and not directly selling the products my current company makes. There is a separate dedicated sales force that specifically sells the 2 products that my company makes now. I would just be focused with the general aspect of all product lines at national accounts. Hopefully this is clear
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Under New Jersey law non-competes signed at hire are still enforceable regardless of the changes in employment. A.T. Hudson & Co. v. Donovan, the court held that a non-compete signed at hire was supported by adequate consideration (524 A.2d 412, 415 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1987)); Hogan v. Bergen Brunswig Corp., the court held that an employee's continued employment for three years after signing the noncompete was adequate consideration (378 A.2d at 1167). This doesn't necessarily mean you are bound by the non-compete, because non-competes have several elements of judgment in regard to their enforceability. Ultimately though the employer attempting to enforce it must show that the agreement is necessary to save a protected business interes - i.e. customers, trade secrets, business processes or proprietary information. If your position is one where you don't have access to or develop any of these, the employer will have a difficult time enforcing it. I would though inform this new employer of the agreement and get their approval before jumping ship, because if you don't you are exposing them to unknown liability. Likewise as you point out, you personally will not be competing, but this may depend on exact language of the non-compete.