Legal Question in Employment Law in North Carolina

i'm currently working for a carpet cleaning company and have been for almost a year. (not as a carpet cleaner). my employer is now requesting i sign a restrictive covenant (non-compete). can create some sort of document that will make the non-compete conditional.

I strongly believe my employer is using the non-compete to create leverage. I'm actually a mechanic and the non-compete is directed to "technician/subcontractor".

Asked on 7/15/14, 6:12 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jeremy Canipe The Canipe Law Firm, PLLC

To be enforceable in North Carolina, a non-compete agreement must be 1) in writing; 2) part of an employment contract; 3) based on valuable consideration; 4) reasonable as to time and territory; and 5) designed to protect the employer's legitimate business interests. Since you've already been working for this company for almost a year without a non-compete agreement, the 1st question I would have is whether they are going to pay your anything for the non-compete. Simply telling an employee that they will be fired if they do not sign a non-compete agreement is not considered "valuable consideration." However, if they gave you a raise, moved you into a new position, or other changes in your work, they would be giving you consideration. However, there are a number of issues to be considered in an attorney being able to give you an informed legal opinion on whether a proposed non-compete agreement would be enforceable. As such, I would strongly suggest contacting an experienced business and employment law attorney such as myself before signing any sort of agreement.

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Answered on 7/16/14, 6:27 am

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