Who do I send a confidentiality and non-solicitation agreement to to see if it’s reasonable and valid?

I was only employed by my former company for about 6 months. I signed a non-compete and solicitation agreement prior to the new regulations being passed here in my state regarding non-compete agreements and I signed these documents before I was hired. My skills are very focused to this particular line of work.

They let me go and now I am nervous that I cannot get work in this type of field. I read over the agreement and it does not give a geographic scope as to where I can and cannot work. I don’t have money for an attorney and I just want to know that I can work again in this type of industry. Do I send the non-compete to an attorney before I look for work? Am I supposed to just show the non-compete to the new company and see what happens? Do I contact my former employer to see what they deem is reasonable?

Asked on January 8, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Contacting your former employer is not helpful: their interest is in protecting themselves, not you, so they will likely tell you that the noncompete is broadly enforceable against you--they have no reason to tell you the limitations on the agreement. 
The best idea is to hire a lawyer to review it for you--that is the only way to get a good sense for its enforceability and scope. An employment law attorney would be the kind of lawyer to contact.
Failing that, you can show it to prospective employers and see if they believe they can safely hire you.


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