If I worked for a house cleaning company and an independent contractor, what are my rights about working for a previous client if I signed a non-compete?

I have since quit that company and now work for a different one. I have a previous client that is wanting to hire me through my new employer. Can I work for her without and legal issues if I signed a non-compete agreement with my previous employer?

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Non-competition agreements are enforceable as per their plain language. If the agreement states that you may not complete with your previous employer, then you can't do any work in competition with them (as competition is defined in the agreement); if the agreement says you cannot work with any prior clients, you can't work with any of them. You have to review specifically what the non-comptition agreement states, bearing in mind again that non-competition agreements are generally legal and enforceable. If in doubt about what you can and cannot do, bring the contract to an attorney who can review it's exact language.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Non-competition agreements are enforceable as per their plain language. If the agreement states that you may not complete with your previous employer, then you can't do any work in competition with them (as competition is defined in the agreement); if the agreement says you cannot work with any prior clients, you can't work with any of them. You have to review specifically what the non-comptition agreement states, bearing in mind again that non-competition agreements are generally legal and enforceable. If in doubt about what you can and cannot do, bring the contract to an attorney who can review it's exact language.


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