Non-Compete Release NYS

I worked for Company X in Suffolk County, NY as a scribe for what was
supposed to be FT starting 9/2018. I ended up only working 1 day a week for
about 6 hours. I quit around 2/2019 because I needed more hours and better
pay. The doctor I worked for was fantastic and would agree I did my job well. I
am trying to get into a physicians assistant program and need the hours plus I
need the money to pay off my student loans and fix my dying car. I asked the
company for a non-compete release and my manager rudely said yes but now
her manager and HR is saying no. They instead said ‘Your non-compete
agreement will remain enforceable during the course of your employment with
Company X and for 1 year following separation. However, should you find
another position you wish to apply to, I am happy to review the details of that
position with you and confirm whether or not it would fall within the restrictions
of the non-compete agreement.’ I was a scribe. I know no trade secrets, no
secret codes, formulas anything about this company. I never even took my final
exam because my manager forgot and I got tired of asking. I have almost no
money to my name and scribing is one of the very few jobs I can do that counts
towards PA school. I feel as if they are just trying to take advantage of the fact
that I am stuck since they know I serve no threat. I just want to know what to do
or say so I can get this non-compete and keep working. Thank you for your time

Asked on March 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Their motivation does not matter: all that matters is that you entered into a noncompetition agreement. Noncompetition agreements are legal and enforceable; therefore, they have the right to enforce it and not release you regardless of the effect on you. A party to a legal contract or agreement may insist on its performance.
It also does not matter that you insist you know no secrets or are no threat: the point is that you entered into a contract and they can enforce it against you. Therefore, they can keep you from working for a competitor, as per the plain terms of the agreement, for its stated duaration.


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