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After reading through this guide, I feel as though my

After reading through this...

After reading through this guide, I feel as though my non-compete that I signed with a previous employer is not enforceable. What do I do?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the non-compete agreement with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

HR said I have to comply with the agreement, though it is very broad in language. I have not spoken with a lawyer as I can't afford a lawyer. im in a catch 22

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

I am an "at will" employee. I do not belong to a union

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I can provide scans of the entire agreement.
Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/16/2018
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,040
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
Verified

Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today. Please note that the website may ask you if you desire premium services, such as a phone call. I do not control these prompts, and you are not under any obligation to order premium services to get a full answer from me. If you do desire premium services, however, feel free to select that option. I will have an answer for you shortly, unless I require additional information. Please be patient while I may have to research some matters before providing a response. In the meantime you should save the url link or bookmark this webpage in case you become disconnected and need to return to this page at a later time.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Great, thank you!

For a non-compete agreement to be enforced an employer must show reasonableness, in that (1) it has a legitimate business interest sufficient to justify enforcement of the non-compete clause; (2) that the clause does not cause the former employee undue hardship; and (3) that enforcement of the clause will not be harmful to the public.

Under this three part test, courts consider several factors when determining whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable, including: (i) how long the restriction lasts and the geographic area that the restriction covers (generally no more than 2 years and reasonable local area will be reasonable), (ii) whether the employee was the sole contact with customers, (iii) whether the employee possesses confidential information or trade secrets, (iv) whether the covenant operates to bar the employee's sole means of support, (v) whether the covenant seeks to stifle the inherent skill and experience of the employee, (vi) the likelihood that the employee can find other employment if the restriction is enforced and (vii) whether the benefit to the employer is disproportional to the detriment of the employee. To some extent it doesn't matter what your facts are, because unless you are willing to take the matter to court to have the contract ruled invalid or a prospective employer is willing to hire you in spite of this agreement and risk the litigation by your employer, you'll not truly know if they can enforce its agreement. In short, only a court can definitively tell you whether the non-compete is enforceable. I, or most employment lawyers, could opine what a court may do, but that is not the definitive answer.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers (even though the website already charged you, it does not credit me with the answer unless and until you indicate you are satisfied with the answer). If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you. this is very helpful. Do you have an idea of how much taking this to court could cost me?

Yes, and unfortunately it is quite cost prohibitive for most employees. Conversely, most employers that have these have no idea how much they'll have to spend. On average $20k. If it goes to trial you could double that. Most of these settle. Hope this helps. Thanks

John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,040
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
Verified
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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