If I began working for a tutoring franchise last year and signed a contract with a 2 year non-compete clause, am I still bound to it even if the location at which I’m employed is closing?

The franchise I work at is closing next month, but the parent company is still in business. I would like to start tutoring independently obviously not using the franchise’s curriculum but I don’t know if I’m legally bound to wait 2 years to start.

Asked on August 25, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are terminated from employment, such as because your location is closing, then you would no longer be bound by the non-competition agreement, unless you received something specifically for signing it, other than your employment e.g. they gave you some bonus or payment just for signing the non-compete in the absence of such independent "consideration" for the agreement, termination of employment releases you from the non-competition agreement. The law doesn't let the employer fire or terminate you while preventing you from working elsewhere.
If you were offered a job by this employer at another location that is within a reasonably commutable distance, however, then the non-compete would most likely  still be in force.


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