What to do about an employment contract that restricts my potential employment options?

I have a job interview coming up soon and also received an employment contract renewal from my current employer requesting that I sign a new contract that renews every two years and has a non-compete clause and a 90 day termination notice clause. The non-compete clause is reasonable, as it prevents me from working elsewhere within a 25 range and in a place that provides similar services. The 90 day notice to terminate has me quite concerned, as I am always seeking potential job opportunities to allow for growth and advancement. I’m currently not under contract because my old has expired.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

We cannot advise you as to what to do--that is something you must decide, based on all the factors, pro and con.

What we can do is to confirm that a notice clause in an employment contract is enforceable, so if you sign it, the company can require you to provide 90 days notice--and take legal action if you do not.

One option to consider is whether you can negotiate for notice (and if not 90 days, some reasonable period, such as 30, 45, or 60) to be reciprocal. That is, if the company can be obligated to give you notice of termination or layoff, while that would not increase your freedom, it would, as compensation for potentially tying yourself up somewhat, give you additional security.


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