If I signed a non-compete after about a year of employment with no compensation, is it still enforceable?

Also, if all the employees in the same field did not sign the non-compete and did not get terminated is it still enforceable?

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A non-competition agreement is enforceable even if you did not receive any additional consideration or compensation for having signed it, as long as you worked at that employer for some period of time after signing it...your continued employment is considered consideration for signing the agreement (since you could have been fired on the spot if you refused to sign it).

There is no requirement that all other employees sign the non-competition for your non-competition to be enforceable. Similarly, whether or not they were in fact terminated most likely does not affect the validity of your non-compeition agreement, because you could  have been terminated had you not signed--therefore, it would be considered that there was consideration. You could try to argue that the failure to termiante others shows that there was no danger of termination, but in contracts, courts tend not to look at what was done or offered to others--only what was your specific situation. The outcome with other employees, therefore, may not be germane. You would have a case you could make, and you might win, though you should not count on it.


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