Is it legal if a local franchise of a national fitness club business forbids personal trainers to practice their profession on their own time and on private property?

It also prohibits them from being retained for their services by current or former members of the club for 6 months after leaving employment at the club. They maintain that this constitutes theft and threaten to take legal action against any personal trainer who engages in either of those practices. Do they have a legal right to impose such restrictions on personal trainers and do those actions indeed constitute theft?

Asked on November 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the personal trainer has signed a contract with the fitness club agreeing to work with only members of the club, then it is legal. Usually such contracts contain a Non-Compete clause, which restricts the employee from engaging in activity which takes business away from or is adverse to the club. This is perfectly legal.

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