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I am looking at a part-time telepsychiatry postion and the…

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I am looking at a part-time telepsychiatry postion and the Clinical Offer Letter is stating there would be a 2 year noncompete for telepsychiatry for current and prospective clients. This seems excessive to me as ANYONE could be a prospective client. I currently work part-time at a non telepsychiatry position however may switch to full time telepsychiatry in the future working through a different company. I understand the reasonableness of not wanting me to deliver services directly (without them as intermediary) to clients but the way it is written I can't deliver services to anyone they deem a potential client either.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas the way it looks to be written in texas law,

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will. My concern is the length of time (2 years) and breadth (potentially anyone on the face of the earth)

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/BC/htm/BC.15.htm#15.50

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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11/15/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,329
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thanks very much for your patience. I just want to double check, what specific questions did you have. Is it whether 2 years is legitimate for a non-compete in Texas?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I am concerned about the length of time for the non-compete (2 years) and the breadth (it includes any patient current or prospective) without any geographical limits for all telepsychiatry positions. This would essentially eliminate my ability to practice telepsychiatry for two years if my employment is terminated (by either myself or the employer)
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I can understand. In your state, the law allows for non-competes, but it cannot be unlimited in its scope, time, or geography. This means that they cannot generally bar you from working for anyone else every again. They may put in their non-compete that you are disallowed from sharing trade secrets with others, though. Additionally, agreements are generally reasonable in TX for up to two years. Anything longer than that is going to be considered an unreasonable non-compete. They also cannot ban you from working anywhere in the United States. They have to limit the geography on it.
What many people do is that once they quit working, they will often work for another person and simply not tell the former employer at all. I do not always recommend breaking a contract; however, if you have reason to believe it is unreasonable and feel that you could make that argument in court potentially, then go for it. You of course always have the option of not signing the agreement.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Because this is telepsychiatry however, I can live anywhere in the US and see patients anywhere else in the US as long as I'm licensed in that state. As all telepsychiatry companies in the US have essentially the same constraints, the geographic limitation isn't clear
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I see what you mean. If that is the case, then there is reason to believe that that portion of the agreement is unenforceable. Thus, if you left that business and opened your own, then you could argue that the specific section may need to be reformed rather than you potentially paying damages. Regardless, in all practicality, unless they became aware of what you were doing within the two years, you may be able to run your own show without worry. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Nothing different. Telepsychiatry isn't that big of a world unfortunately and practicing under the radar might be difficult. Also, the contract specifies current and prospective clients which again places no limitations.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I see what you mean. Well, if you haven't signed the agreement, you're welcome to not sign it of course. Also, you can always request with your employer to modify the agreement.

Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 2-209, parties are allowed to modify an agreement and there needs to be no additional consideration for this modification to be binding. The only exception is that if the parties agreed that modifications need to be in writing, the modification must be in writing. Or, you could wait the two years, but it's entirely your call. Did you have any other questions for me?

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Did you have any other questions for me?

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