Is my non-compete contract valid?

I was employed by a DJ service for the last 2 years. Due to slow work I took employment with another DJ/promoting service. The second one refused to pay on time or regular so when I told them that I wasn’t working until paid they fired me. I then resumed working with my original DJ service. The second DJ/promoting service is refusing to give me my money/pay until I sign a non-compete contract. Since I was a DJ before working with the second DJ/promoting service, will the non-compete stop me from working as a DJ or can I refuse to sign and they have to pay what is owed?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

1) Noncompete agreements are enforceable in your state (MI), so if you sign it, it can be enforced against you (i.e. it could stop you from working as a DJ)--that you were previously working as a DJ is irrelevant, since anyone can agree to not compete at any time, and once you sign the agreement, you are held to what you agreed to.
2) You can--and should--refuse to sign and sue them for your money. They are legally obligated to pay you: there was an agreement (a contract, whether written or oral/unwritten) under which you agreed to work for them and they agreed to pay you for your work. Since you did your part (you worked), they are contractually obligated to do their part and pay you. If they won't, you can sue them for breach of contract, such as in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," to minimize costs.


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