What if I want to leave and I have signed a non-compete agreement?
Some executive level employees may be bound by a non-compete agreement that they signed at the start of their employment. This means that they are limited in where they may work or the type of job they may take if they wish to leave their current position. While non-competes must be narrowly tailored in their geographical reach and time limitation, they are generally considered valid if they were signed at the start of the employment, are for 1 to 2 years, and cover the geographical area when the company does business. When meeting with prospective employers, you must disclose the existence of this non-compete. While this may dissuade certain employers from hiring you, you have to disclose this information as your former employer will sue both you and your new employer to enforce the non-compete. Many prospective employers will have their attorney evaluate the non-compete to determine the level of risk involved in hiring you and may still be willing to consider bringing you on or buying out your non-compete.If you are bound by a non-compete or are considering hiring someone with a non-compete, make sure you evaluate the issue with an attorney before taking any decisions. It is imperative that you evaluate the risk level before committing to a situation that may lead to litigation.
2020 Solo Small Firm Conference-NJSBA