My wife signed a non-compete as part of her employment contract. She is quitting because of ethical reasons: the employer is telling her to lie to her customers and just pretend to perform services if she doesn't have the right color make-up or to just blow air on their faces if her airbrush gun stops working correctly rather than take the time to clean it and perform the service correctly. Is this grounds for breaking the non-compete agreement in her contract to work for another wedding make up firm? Thanks.
2 Answers from Attorneys
A lot of these disputes can turn on what the contract says. Minnesota courts disfavor non-compete agreements and they must be agreed to as part of the initial employment contract and supported by independent consideration, but they will be enforced if they are reasonable. If the employer breached the contract, then perhaps she is excused from the non-complete. However, that would be a defense to a cause of action brought by the employer to enforce the agreement. I am an experienced attorney in the area of non-compete agreements and I would recommend a case analysis before taking any action.
Such issues are very much fact dependent, as interfaced with the complex law in this area. Generally non compete agreements are frowned upon and will be viewed with great scrutiny for lawfulness and reasonableness in terms. I urge your spouse confer privately with an experienced attorney at this time. Tricia Dwyer Esq. ph 612-296-9666 Minnesota Small Business Attorneys Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC
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