Legal Question in Business Law in California

I am re asking with more clarity. In 2013 I opened a janitorial company. I have a friend who has a janitorial business in a different county. She is doing business with her company in my county. Last week, I offered to work for her and she hired me, not under my business but as her employee. She wants me to sign a contract prohibiting me from conducting business with my company within 75 miles of her business. I conduct my business from home which is within that radius. Can she do that?

Asked on 1/14/15, 5:57 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

She can ask but your do not have to sign the agreement. The most she can do is discharge from work.

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Answered on 1/14/15, 9:35 pm
Keith E. Cooper Keith E. Cooper, Esq.

No. There is no legal way for any business to stop another business from competing with them, and there are antitrust laws that prevent businesses from making such arrangements. Furthermore, an employer can not make non-competition a condition of employment as long as you do not work for yourself during the hours you are working for the employer.

What she can do, however, is prevent you from poaching her clients (which is considered confidential proprietary information), and she can say that your business may not accept work from any client of hers that she introduced to you.

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Answered on 1/30/15, 2:07 pm

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