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My company just completed a merger and I'm being asked to…

Customer Question
My company just completed...

My company just completed a merger and I'm being asked to sign a new non-compete /confidentiality agreement with them. I'm not concerned over the confidentiality just the non-compete agreement.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

The affected state will be Illinois- the company's home office in North America. I'm based out of a home office but the agreement for terrority is North America- asumming the United States

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I have the non-compete but it is not signed as of yet. I received it on Dec 15th and need to return it before the end of this week. The cover letter suggests that terms of employment for next year are conditional on signing the agreement

Lawyer's Assistant: What can I say?

Can I have someone review the document there on line? Looking for some fast advice

Lawyer's Assistant: What can I say?

???

Lawyer's Assistant: What can I say?

Can you refer me to someone else?

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

What are your billing rates?

Lawyer's Assistant: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the Lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason.

OK

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
12/20/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,391
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

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.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'm about to sign a confidentiality - non-compete agreement after a merger - this means switching my current employer to the controlling company. I am a professional chemist who's career opportunities are limited based on past experience- 30 years in one industry.
The non-compete agreement is the concern. I have about 12 years left of employment. The terms include a large territory which is the United States and Canada for one year after termination for any reason. They are offering $100 in additional salary (less than 0.06% of my base salary) to sign the non-compete. The cover letter suggests that terms of employment beyond Jan 1, 2018 are dependent on signing the non-compete agreement.
I have a few questions:
_ What options do I have if I sign the non-compete then leave the company to work at a customer's location?
- What if the company expands into a business later? Can I work in that field without being held to the non-compete?
- What rights do I have if I refuse to sign?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thanks so much. Bear with me a moment while I review.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thanks for your patience. Could you tell me what state the agreement is going to be signed in? Where is the company located?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Illinois- The regional (Americas) headquarters is in Carpentersville, IL and the company headquarters is near Milan, Italy
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Understood. Thank you. I need to review a few things real quick.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Ok, so the rule is that non-compete agreements are generally enforceable so long as they are reasonable in time, geography, and scope. Only a few states like California have completely outlawed non-compete agreements. So, let me answer your questions:

1. Your options: if you sign the non-compete and leave the company to work at a customer's location, it is possible and probable that they would sue you for breach of contract. Practically speaking, most employers rarely pursue this kind of action because it can be costly and they typically pursue it for higher level executives who may have trade secrets that they learned.

2. Business expansion: So long as you sign the non-compete, you'll be bound to it unless you and the employer come to a separate binding agreement that eliminates or modifies the non-compete.

3. If you refuse to sign: There isn't any law that allows you to work if you don't agree to the employer's terms. So, your right is to either negotiate the agreement or walk away from the employment. I usually recommending considering thinking about the interests of the employer in this situation; most of the time they are going to want to know you're not handing business secrets to a competitor. if you can assure them that you will not, they just may reconsider the non-compete given the scope of your industry.

Did you have other questions for me regarding this?

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