I have just been presented with an outstanding job offer; however, I am worried that this is going to violate a non-compete clause that I had with a prior employer. I am wondering if there is any way that I can challenge a non-compete clause. Because this is such a fantastic job opportunity, I do not want to pass it up on a technicality. Is there any way that I can successfully challenge a non-compete clause?
Non-compete clauses are incredibly challenging in the working world. Even though competition is one of the fundamentals of a modern economy, there are also a lot of people who try to protect their businesses by removing competition. Therefore, when you leave your employer, there might be a non-compete clause included in the agreement. First, remember that you should have things like non-compete or non-solicitation clauses reviewed by an attorney. Before you sign them, you want to make sure that you know exactly what you are signing. That way, you are not agreeing to anything that may excessively harm you in the future.
At the same time, if you have recently received a new job offer and you have a non-compete with your prior employer, there are ways that you can challenge this non-compete clause. First, you may be able to show that your new job is not going to violate these specific terms of your specific agreement. You want to make sure that you get a copy of your new contract from your new employer. Then, you want to take a look at the non-compete that you signed with your former employer. Take both documents to an attorney and see if you can take your new job. The non-compete agreement may not have anything to do with your new job.
Next, keep in mind that a non-compete is usually designed to protect confidential company information. If you did not have access to any company information of this sort, then a non-compete is simply not necessary. If your former employer attempts to take you to court over this new position, then the court may find that did not compete is not enforceable.
In addition, it is not unusual for employers to ask for overly broad limitations. In some cases, they may be intentionally trying to sabotage your future employment opportunities. In some situations, they might not even realize that the contract is not enforceable. For example, it is not unusual for companies to use a non-compete that they have found online. If they do not edit it, then it will not fit their business and it will not hold up in court. There are some situations where a company only does business in one state; however, they are attempting to limit business in another state in the same industry. This type of non-compete is not going to be able to be enforced. Furthermore, if a company is attempting to prevent you from taking a job from another industry, this is another example of unreasonable terms that might not be enforced.
These are a few of the ways that you can challenge a non-compete agreement. If you have questions or concerns about a non-compete clause that you may have signed in the past, then be sure to reach out to a trained attorney for assistance. You want to make sure that you are able to take your new job; however, you do not want to violate an enforceable non-compete agreement either.