Yes, I signed a non-compete clause with U.S. widgets for not working for a widget manufacturer for a period of three years. However, I want to make it clear that this does not affect my right to work for your company, Consolidated Thingamabobs, because you are not considered a competitor and the non-competition rules do not apply to your business. A non-competition clause may be struck down and unenforceable as a result of a “substantial change” in employment. “substantial change” includes changes in compensation, liability, direct reporting and securities. If you have received a promotion or change of employment, the initial non-competition clause may no longer be valid. Workers benefit from a non-competition clause because they have an advantage in exchange for signing the non-competition clause. In most cases, the value element is the individual process. A promotion or increase in return for signing is also considered to be something valuable. In Ohio, for example, the Ohio Supreme Court held that, in the case of an employee at will, maintaining employment was sufficient to make the agreement applicable. Does the employer have a legitimate interest that it protects by the non-compete agreement? Faced with these risks associated with hiring a non-compete candidate, employers should first take the following steps: if this is likely to be the case, there are some steps an employer can take to reduce the likelihood of legal action and the likelihood that it will win in the event of an appeal. We will discuss how an employer can protect itself from two claims, unlawful breaches of contract (“interference in the contract”) or unlawful infringements of potential economic benefit or potential business relationships (“interference in relationships”). You will find more information about these types of claims in our previous article in the series: Can the new employer be held responsible for a worker who violates the non-compete agreement with a former employer? Whether you are looking for a new job or signing up for the job of your dreams, it is important to be aware of the terms of the non-compete agreement that you must sign.
A non-compete agreement is a written contract between an employer and a worker.