What are the consequences of violating a non-complete clause?

I quit a job last August where I had
signed a non-compete clause for a home
remodeling company in PA. The company
headquarters are in Ohio. The clause
said I couldn’t work for a competitor
for one year following leaving the
company. What are the risks and
penalities of violating this clause in

Asked on May 12, 2017 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you violate the non-competition clause and the former employer becomes aware of it, they could sue you for "breach of contract" (for violating the agreement) for one or both of:
1) A court order ("injunction") barring you from working for competitor--violating that order could lead to fines or even imprisonment for "contempt of court";
2) Monetary compensation, such as an amount equal to what your competition may have cost them in profit or lost business.
If the agreement allows them to recover their legal fees if you violate it, you could also end up paying for their lawyers.

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