Can a minor be held to a non-compete agreement?

Can a 17 year old be held to a non-compete agreement? It says he cannot work for
a competitor for 18 months after he is no longer employed with the company.

Asked on August 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A minor lacks the legal "capacity" (i.e. ability) to consent to a contract. And a non-compete is a contract. Therefore, such a contract is void and therefore is of no legal force and effect.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If they were a minor when they signed the non-competition agreement (and no parent/legal guardian also signed on their behalf), the agreement would be void for lack of capacity: a minor cannot enter into legally binding contracts (a non-competition agreement is a contract and is subject to all the same rules as any other contract).


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