Legal Question in Business Law in Washington

I leased a food truck three years ago and the owner has started to be abusive towards me and my husband. My husband is on my business license butwe were married after I signed the lease so he is not on the actual lease agreement can the boss say he cannot be around the truck or in the shop and can my boss pull my lease and just decide to take my job from me. I did notice in the lease it says I have to stay away from any of my stops that I have made with my truck for a year after a no competition Claus I believe it is but if he's being hostile towards me and I have to go out and get my own truck because of his hostility and the way he is treating me am I still bound by that lease I signed three years ago that clause.

Asked on 5/24/13, 8:12 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Cruikshank Cruikshank Law Office-Since 1975

Non-compete clauses are not absolute, but subject to reasonableness considerations.A court will not enforce a non-compete if it is overreaching. Other terms of your lease sound like they may be non-enforcible, too.

You need to get the lease and the details of your business compared by a business lawyer who can discuss your options with you. There appear to be some issues that could be worked out to your benefit.

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Answered on 5/24/13, 8:31 am

Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC

I agree with Mr. Cruikshank's response and would add to it as follows:

When you write "lease" I assume you are in some kind of owner-operator status regarding your truck. As such, you are entitled to hire whomever you like to operate or work on your truck. The owner of the truck has some right to seek a restraining order to keep your husband away, depending on what he alleges your husband has done, but he cannot keep your husband away if it is a matter of not liking him.

As for your job, that is more of an an employment law related question so you may want to repost about this in that area of LawGuru, however, unless you have a contract for employment, Washington is an at-will employment state, and you can be terminated from employment for any reason, except an illegal one (for example, you cannot be terminated on account of race, gender, national origin, religious affiliation, etc.). However, if your "boss" decides they no longer want to employ you for any other reason, they may terminate your employment. How that affects your lease on the truck is likely dealt with in the lease agreement, which is why you ought to sit down with an attorney and go through that to see what your rights are under that contract, and how the law applies.

Best of luck to you!

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Answered on 5/24/13, 9:50 am

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