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I was recently sent a cease and desist letter from my

I was recently sent...

I was recently sent a cease and desist letter from my previous employer. They claim that I am violating my do not compete agreement

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

I’m located in West Virginia but their office is headquartered in Michigan

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

At will full time

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

I don’t think so

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/11/2018
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,888
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and welcome. I'm sorry to hear about this cease and desist. If you don't mind clarifying, what is your specific question for me here? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What should be my next steps? And is their non compete even valid

Thank you.

Non-compete agreements are generally enforceable in West Virginia, provided they are reasonable in terms of duration and geographic scope (2 years is generally considered reasonable, and where the employer does business is generally considered reasonable in geographic scope). The agreement must not result in undue hardship to the employee.

You could ignore the cease and desist entirely, as may such letters are empty threats which the employer has no intention of actually following through on, since actual litigation is expensive and time consuming to pursue and damages can be very hard to prove. You could also respond by explaining why the non-compete is invalid (i.e. it is unreasonable in duration or geographic scope, or it imposes undue hardship). For added effect, you could retain a local attorney to draft a response for you, which will make you appear much more serious about defending any possible lawsuit and may scare your employer into not taking action.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
If this matter were to go to court which state would it be in

Two other points of consideration: If you were discharged from this employment, you can argue that enforcement of the non-compete under those circumstances results in undue hardship, because you are essentially "forced" to work for a competitor since you have been involuntarily let go. Second, if you didn't sign the non-compete agreement at the onset of your employment, you can argue that it was not signed in exchange for something of value and thus that it is not an enforceable contract.

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It would be litigated in the state where you were employed, almost certainly.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok. Thank you very much

You are very welcome. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have copies of the cease and desist letter and my agreement if you wouldn’t mind checking over them

Unfortunately I cannot review documents. However, if you have any other specific questions I am happy to address them for you...

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
They letter alleges that I have contacted other employees to come to my new place of employment and there are no geographic locations listed

Enforcement of the non-compete would typically be restricted to where the employer does business and where they have legitimate business interests to protect. As for instructing other employees to come to your place of business, that is not inherently unlawful, but obviously if they trespass, harm you, defame you, etc. that could give rise to legal claims.

Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,888
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,888
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Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.

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