T Nation

Non-Compete Employment Contract


I talked to the President of my company about the NCC and if you're in a right to work state, it is even harder to put through litigation, as they consider your customer list that you obtained while working YOUR customer list. However, if you take that list and start up your own company, that is a different situation.


First thing you need to do is take a good look at the "non-compete" clause. What does it prevent you from doing?

Most of these clauses/contracts merely bar you from toaking employment with an competitor company. In a case like this, you ex-employer will probably still sue you, but the onus rests on him to prove to court that the terms in the contract was a) reasonable b) necessary c) you accepted the terms out of your own free will and know what the effects of them are d) you will proceed to divulge sensitive information to your new employer which will be to his detriment.

You/ your Attorney will have to make the argument that the contract was a) unreasonable due to the excessive restricting effect of you not being able to earn an income in your chosen field b) the protection you former employer seeks is not necessary as you do not possess any privy information of your former employer, namely "trade secrets", client lists. c) at the time of signature of the contract you were not ad idem (in agreement) with the terms.

As a final argument you have to prove put before court that the contract as a whole is contra bona mores (against good public policy) and therefore, in specifically the non-compete clause, is unenforeable.

If however you work in an technical/specialised field, the non-compete becomes very enforceable due to the nature of your employment. A company's development, trade secrets and client lists are all deemed to be an asset worth protection.

15min or part thereof of written consultation : $250.00 please :slight_smile:


Unless they're a shit company (and thus hire shitty lawyers), the lawyer writing up the agreement probably drafted the contract with the standard of that jurisdiction in mind. Do you think they just decided to pay the amount of $500 out of their ass? That's probably the usual requirement in the jurisdiction...same with the length. Again, you guys shouldn't be giving legal advice to this guy. He needs to talk to a lawyer in his state. Nobody even knows what state this guy lives in.


In most at will states, continued employment is considered just compensation.


Non competes are extremely hard to enforce and depending on the state you live in may not be enforceable at all. Most companies have you sign them because they know the average idiot is too dumb or scared to actually know their rights and will conform to the non compete without the need for enforcement.


California law heavily favors the sales rep. Non-competes are but merely a scare tactic. I've changed companies several times and brought my customers with me. Yes, I'm a whore.


Wrong! They're a customer because of you. There's nothing evil about it.


I am in North Carolina, which I believe is a right to work state.

There is no way they will know I have any customer lists as I put them together myself.

The only thing I am planning on doing at this point is keeping on working and if they do send me a letter, addressing it at that point.

My current employer is aware of my non-compete.


you may or not have breached your contract with the first emoployer. too many unknowns you haven't addressed. you may be in some legal trouble for it. but you may be too insignificant to worry about.

But what you have also done is shown you are an unethical employee. i represented a company who hired someone who violated their non compete. as soon as the new company found out, they canned him. he was not the type of emplyee they wanted working for them. think about it - you broke a contract and stole from your former employer. would you want someone like that working for you?


For two years of not working in his profession?


Yes, not saying it is easily enforceable, only that the just compensation angle is not the one to take. If you look at that link provided earlier they list what is considered just compensation by state.