Can my boss make me sign a non-compete agreement?

My sister and I both work together with a maid service. She and I did some side cleaning after work for a family friend. The next day, my boss calls everyone into the office telling us to sign a no compete agreement stating that we cannot clean anybodys house outside of work unless it is an immediate family member or she will fire us. Is that even at all legal? Isn’t that taking away our right to earn a living? If we are not calling out and missing work to do it, shouldn’t we be allowed to do whatever for whom ever we want?

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer cannot "make" an employee sign anything. However, the employee may face termination if they do not. Specifically, as to a "non-compete" agreement, a company can ask a worker to sign such an agreement so as to protect the business from an employee leaving and taking company clients with them, etc. The fact is that this is a legitimate buisness purpose. That having been said, such an agreement must not be too broad in scope (i.e. duration, georgraphic limits and other restrictions).

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer cannot "make" an employee sign anything. However, the employee may face termination if they do not. Specifically, as to a "non-compete" agreement, a company can ask a worker to sign such an agreement so as to protect the business from an employee leaving and taking company clients with them, etc. The fact is that this is a legitimate buisness purpose. That having been said, such an agreement must not be too broad in scope (i.e. duration, georgraphic limits and other restrictions).


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