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Saturday, June 9, 2012

8 Ways To Challenge A Noncompete Employment Agreement

1. Show that the new position would not violate the precise terms of your noncompete agreement. An employee discovered that his agreement barred him from working for an employer that used the same or similar technology. The new employer used a significantly different technology.
2. Show that your employer engaged in illegal or dishonest behavior towards its clients. Employers  don't want former employees  discussing corporate misbehavior in court. So they usually agree to waive non compete agreements when employees tactfully bring up these matters. 3. Show that your former employer lacks a legitimate business interest for enforcing the noncompete.  Noncompete agreements are supposed to protect trade secrets and business relationships. If your role in the company did not give you access to trade secrets or clients, then you should be able to work for whomever you please. 4. Show the noncompete agreement is unreasonably broad in terms of time, geography or activities. If your current employer only does business in one state, then your agreement should not bar you in working in other states.Also, if your former employer is in just one market niche, your noncompete  should not bar you from working in the entire sector. 5. Show that the employer tricked you into signing the noncompete by making promises that it did not live up to. Some employers make verbal promises stating that noncompetes will only be enforced if you try to join a particular competitor.   If verbal promises were made to you regarding limits to the enforcement of your noncompete and/or benefits you would receive for signing it, then send an email requesting clarification . Save the email response since it could be used as evidence by you later. 6. Show that you were terminated without cause In some cases, the courts have ruled that employers cannot enforce noncompetes when employees are let go without doing anything wrong as in mass layoffs.7.  Show that the noncompete agreement was never signed. If you don't recall signing an agreement, ask to see it. Also, some employees ask to consult with their lawyers before signing and then never get around to turning in the agreement. 8. Show that the employer breached the terms of your employment contract. If your employer did live up to his end of the bargain, then you likely cannot be forced to live up to your noncompete agreement. To make your case, approach your former employer to challenge your noncompete agreement before you start applying for new jobs. Begin by sending an e-mail to the decision maker using one or more of the reasons listed above to explain why you think your noncompete agreement is not valid. If the decision maker promises that the agreement will not be enforced, then save the email message to show to any potential employers who ask about prior noncompete agreements. If your former employer insists on holding you to your agreement, then hire a lawyer that specializes in employment law to send your former employer a letter. This should only take an hour or two of your attorney's time. If the employer still does not back down, you might have to go to court. But usually, employers generally prefer to negotiate before these cases get to court.

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