Get out of the non Compete Agreement.

If you were hired, you may have been asked to sign a non-compete agreement.This agreement prohibits you from working with competing firms in the same business or industry after you leave your current employer for a specified period of time and in a certain geographic area.You probably didn't think much about the agreement when you signed it.You just started a new job, so you probably aren't thinking about leaving just yet.A non-compete agreement can limit your options in finding a new position when you decide it's time to move on.It is less difficult for you to get out of a non-compete agreement if the state has tough laws that restrict the scope of the agreement.

Step 1: You need to get a copy of the agreement.

You can get a better idea of the interests the company seeks to protect and what you need to stress in asking for a release if you read the non-compete agreement closely.Make sure that you signed the agreement, and that a corporate representative with power to bind the company also signed it.Without the signature of both parties, a contract such as a non-compete agreement is not binding on either party.A court won't enforce a non-compete agreement if it's not signed by you or a corporate representative.This can give you leverage in negotiations to get a release from the agreement.Next, study the provisions detailing your former employer's responsibilities if the agreement was properly signed.If any of those things didn't happen, or if they changed, the agreement is no longer valid.It's the same for your job title or role in the company.Unless you sign a new agreement for your manager position, the non-compete agreement you signed when you were a sales representative may not be valid.The agreement may not bind you as a sales manager.The court needs to know if your employment relationship changed.Your old agreement may be invalidated by a change of job duties, authority or compensation.The scope of the agreement should be read carefully.It's possible that the job you want to take won't violate the non-compete agreement.If you have a non-compete agreement that prevents you from working for another company that uses the same or similar technology as your old employer, it probably doesn't cover your new job.

Step 2: Think about what your job entails at the company.

There are agreements to protect trade secrets and confidential information.The company wants you to sign a non-compete agreement because they're worried you'll take their clients to your new company, or use the trade secrets you learned to their advantage.If you didn't know any trade secrets or have any direct relations with clients, the non-compete agreement is probably not enforceable against you.Every employee is required to sign a non-compete agreement regardless of their role in the company.If you were hired as a receptionist for one company and then offered a position as an executive assistant in another company, it is not likely that you have any trade secrets or client relationships with the new company.Any other contract must be supported by valid consideration.If your employer gave you an additional benefit or compensation in exchange for your signature on the non-compete agreement, you must have signed it.If you weren't provided any additional benefits or if you were promised a bonus that you never received, that would cause the agreement to be invalid.It is possible to make your continued employment contingent on your signing of the non-compete agreement.If your employment was categorized as "at- will" employment and you didn't sign any other employment contract, this could be the case.

Step 3: Take a look at your state's laws.

Tough laws have been passed in some states regarding non-compete agreements.It is possible that your agreement was signed before the law went into effect.Check your local legislature's website or view an overview of state laws like this one from the Center for American Progress.If you live or work in one of those states, the agreement is not valid.Some states have placed legal limits on the rights and legitimate business interests that an employer can seek to protect through a non-compete agreement.Non-compete agreements are only allowed in Washington if they protect customer information and contacts or a company's goodwill.Non-compete agreements are allowed in some states but not in others.Some states have exemptions for nurses and broadcasters.The ABA's Rules of Professional Conduct exempt attorneys in all 50 states.

Step 4: Your information is organized.

To have an objective discussion about being released from your agreement, you need to outline all your points and issues.If you have found a way to defeat the agreement in court, you should tell your employer about it.Judges don't like to enforce agreements that make it hard to find gainful employment.If you can demonstrate that you would win at trial, the company may be willing to negotiate with you ahead of time and spare the expense of trial.

Step 5: Schedule a meeting.

If you have a human resources representative who has the power to release you from your agreement, you should sit down face to face with them.Use the outlines and research you've done to open the meeting.Stress your desire to leave on good terms.If you're willing to compromise, you may be able to get a new job.If the company is worried that you will lure clients to your new firm, you might be willing to sign an agreement in which you were allowed to work at the competing firm if you agreed not to have any communication with them.

Step 6: You should negotiate the terms of your release.

It is possible to craft a new agreement that protects the company's interests and allows you to take the new job you want.Pay attention to the length of time the agreement's prohibitions are in effect, the geographical boundaries it covers, and the activities it prohibits.A court will limit or strike down unreasonable terms if the scope of these terms is the primary focus of legal arguments.Limits on the amount of time the agreement applies won't help you much since you already have a new offer.If the agreement prohibits you from engaging in competing activities with another company for 10 years, cutting it down to 5 years still won't mean you are violating it when you take your new job.You may be able to carve out an exception for your new job if you use geography.Suppose you have a job offer in California from your current employer in Tennessee.Your non-compete agreement prohibits you from working for a competing firm anywhere in North America, but on a practical level, the company in California can't be considered to compete with a company whose business does not extend outside of Tennessee.You may be able to get your employer to agree to a new agreement that would prevent you from working for a competitor in Tennessee.This probably isn't an issue for you since you're moving to California.

Step 7: Write any agreement in writing.

Any amendment to or release from the non-compete agreement must be in writing.You should make sure that the agreement is signed by you and an employee of the company who has the power to bind that company in that instance, as well as the original non-compete agreement.

Step 8: Get notice of the lawsuit.

If you ignore the non-compete agreement, you could be sued by your former employer.The only way to fight a non-compete agreement is in court.If you are an employee who signed such an agreement, you must violate it and wait to be sued.The non-compete agreement may have never been enforced by your former employer.The reasons the company chose not to sue other employees may not apply to your situation, as each employee's circumstances are different.The fact that your former employer has not sued other employees in the past is not a valid reason to ignore the agreement.The employer may request a temporary injunction against you.You can't work until the final trial.A judge will issue this order after you go to a hearing.If the judge upholds the non-compete agreement you will be forced out of work and must find a new job that doesn't violate the agreement, which is why the hearing on the temporary restraining order is the only trial in the matter.

Step 9: Consider hiring a lawyer.

An employment attorney with experience in fighting non-compete agreements may be able to protect your interests.The development of the law in your state is something that a local attorney will have a good understanding of.In fighting your case, the attorney can use the judge's reputation to their advantage.Since so much of the outcome of a case depends on what the judge considers reasonable in terms of restrictions the non-compete agreement imposes on you, this is important.

Step 10: You can file an answer to the complaint.

You have to file an answer to the lawsuit within 20 days.The allegations your former employer is making against you are stated in the complaint.You should tell the court if you admit, deny, or don't have enough knowledge of the allegation to deny it.Your chance to tell your side of the story and raise any affirmative defenses or counterclaims that have relevance to your case is what the answer is.If you discovered that the non-compete agreement you signed was not supported by valid consideration, you could raise that point as an affirmative defense.

Step 11: Take part in discovery.

You can exchange information with your former employer during the discovery process.As a part of discovery, you have the ability to ask your former employer written questions which must be answered under oath, or request documents such as human resources records be made available to you.If your former employer has sued any other employees for violating the non-compete agreement, you may be able to find out what the outcome was.If prior employees have defeated the non-compete agreement, you can use the same arguments and principles to defeat it.If the court grants a temporary restraining order prohibiting you from violating the agreement, you have a limited amount of time to find out.

Step 12: Prepare the case.

You can look at previous cases decided in your state to see what judges have considered reasonable and what types of non-compete agreements have been refused to enforce.It is possible to get a good idea of which of your defenses are most likely to succeed by reviewing your state's law.Determine if the non-compete agreement you signed is legal in your state by analyzing it.

Step 13: Discuss mediation.

A neutral third-party may be able to help you and your former employer come to a settlement that will allow you to pursue new opportunities without damaging their business.If the case is presented before a judge, it will not be possible for you and your former employer to have control over the outcome.Your employer won't have to worry about the dispute over your non-compete agreement being a part of the public record because mediation proceeds are confidential.

Step 14: Should we form a union?

If the association can't convince the employer to eliminate their non-competes, the employees can form a union.The non-competes of the editorial staff were eliminated at the same time as union organizing.There was a vote by the editorial staff to join an established union, though the non-competes were eliminated through a settlement with the New York Attorney General.Non-competes are not allowed in union contracts with employers.

Step 15: Negotiating with each other.

Under the protection of the National Labor Relations Act, employees can negotiate to eliminate their non-competes.Using a new approach, 2 or more non-supervisory employees with a community of interest can form a pop-up employee association to negotiate with their employer.30 cosmetics counter workers at a single Macy's store are examples of small groups of employees that have met the community of interest standard.

Related Posts:

  1. Get out of a non competent agreement.
  2. What voids a noncompete agreement?
  3. Can I break a non-compete agreement?
  4. What is the purpose of a non-compete clause?