I was let go by my company on January 11, 2010. I had signed a "Non-compete" form when I was employed with them which was active for 1 year after I left the company. Please let me know:
1. Since they terminated my employment will I still be held to this agreement? I am in the process of interviewing with a competitor who is very interested in my experience.
2. If I am still held to this agreement (which we were strongly promoted to sign) is there any way I can get out of this agreement?
3. Do you have any suggestions for me on the best way to handle this? This new opportunity is the best one I have received since I was let go.
Thanks for your guidance on this and I look forward to your reply back to me.
2 Answers from Attorneys
In Georgia, non-compete agreements are disfavored and difficult to enforce. To be enforceable, the non-compete must be narrowly tailored in terms of its geographic reach, time limit and scope of prohibited activity. I would recommend that you have the non-compete reviewed by an attorney, such as myself, experienced at handling non-compete disputes in Georgia. If you are interested in a consultation, please contact me using my profile information below.
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You are asking for an analysis of a document that no one here has seen. Non-competes and other restrictive covenants are generally valid and enforceable as long as they are properly drafted and have reasonable limitations. If you sell very specialized software, for example, it could be a nationwide non-compete for a period of time For other jobs, it might include only the state or area in which the company does business. If the company had one drafted by a competent lawyer, then there is certainly a good chance it is valid. Properly drafted contracts are not generally disfavored or difficult to enforce. The same lawyers who review them for employees such as yourself are the same lawyers who draft them for the employers, who expect they will be enforced. There is only one way for you to find out, and potentially missing out on a new job is a good reason to see a qualified lawyer in your area. Not doing so could be a big problem for you and possibly your new employer.