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I have been working for a large IT firm for close to 5 years…

Customer Question
HI , I have...

HI , I have been working for a large IT firm for close to 5 years now and I'm currently employed at a client who is trying to hire me

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

I've signed a non-compete agreement with the company I'm working for

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

I'm a "at will" employee

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

I've signed the non-compete at the time of joining back in 2013. Now that I've an offer from the client organization, not sure what I should do if my company takes me to court for violating non-compete thats all

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/19/2018
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,574
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. (The system will automatically generate a phone call request to you. Unless I specifically state, during our discussion, that a phone call is possible, I intend to just use this chat format as I am not in a position to accept a phone call).

There isn't much that you can do. If the agreement is signed and the agreement is reasonable, the court will order the client to terminate your employment and not hire you until the end of the agreed period. Further, any salary you make will be seen as damages to the company, or even worse, they'd sue you for what they would have charged the company to work there.

Unless you have a basis to challenge the non-compete itself, it is inadvisable for you to breach it. If the agreement is relatively short (two years or less), it isn't too long to be enforced. If you are just restricted from working with their clients that you worked with, it will be enforceable. On these facts, this is the exact circumstance that courts aggressively enforce non-compete agreements, because it is what courts contemplate as the true purpose for them.

Just generally stopping you from working in the field entirely would be too much. Trying to stop you for 3 to 5 years, also too much.

Those are the areas you have to attack, and if the agreement is fine in those regards, ***** ***** no basis for you to resist this agreement.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Please DON’T rate my service until after you have asked any follow up questions that you have, so that I have the best opportunity to earn all 5 stars. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Allen - Thanks for the detailed response. The non-compete asks for not pursuing employment with clients for a period of 12 months, I'm not sure what you meant by "If the agreement is relatively short (two years or less), it isn't too long to be enforced" , can you pls clarify
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 4 months ago

If the agreement is not longer than two years, it is short enough to be enforceable.

Courts won't keep someone out of the work force for longer than two years, and then only if they can work but are only restricted against working with clients of their former employer.

With the agreement in your case being just one year and only restricting you with seeking employment with their clients, it is going to be very enforceable.

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