I am trying to figure out whether my non-compete clause could be considered invalid and would appreciate an opinion on a few points.

Jurisdiction = CTI have taught martial arts (both formally and informally) for 7 years with a local school and we recently separated ways. Although I was teaching again for the last several months I have not been paid in any way by this school in over 2.5 years and I am wondering whether there would be any consideration from my end to constitute a contract (aka non-compete clause)FYI.. the non-compete says that I cannot teach within 50 miles of any location (they are all over the region) for 5 yearsAny insight would be appreciated.

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Connecticut attorney, and enforcement of non-compete clauses is something that can vary from one state to another.  Also, these cases tend to be sensitive to the facts, and it's likely that more details would be needed to give you reliable advice, starting with a review of the written non-compete itself.  One place to find a lawyer who can guide you through this is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Most states limit just how far they will go in enforcing something like this.  If the practical effect of the language is that you would have to move out of state to work, it's possible that the court will decide that it's too broad. A business has a right to protect itself from former employees' competition, within reason -- and not to the extent that it prevents a person from earning a living.

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