Am i bound by a non-compete agreement if I didn’t sign a contract?

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Am i bound by a non-compete agreement if I didn’t sign a contract?

About a year ago, i started working with an acquaintance who started up a property maintenance company. We have had an under the table arrangement for the entire business relationship and I have signed no contracts of any kind. My position is functionally as a supervisor, as I have 2 part-time guys that I bring to jobs when I need an extra hand from time to time but I’m basically just a handyman. My acquaintance gets me the jobs, I send him a detailed weekly summary via email with my expected tally of pay and material costs, and meet him for a cash payment or personal check for the total, generally on a weekly basis. He’s what I guess you could call a broker, middle man something along those lines and takes certain dollar amount off of each service hour he bills for. I’m not experienced with doing the paperwork for this kind of contracting, so it has been convenient to have him handle that side of the job. I’ve long had a suspicion that he hasn’t been entirely honest or upfront with me about his billing practices. Recently, he stopped by to talk to the resident property manager at an apartment complex we were doing service orders for, and he was noticeably cagey about me being around for a conversation he was having with her about billing. I get along very well the manager so later on, I asked her point blank,

Asked on September 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Can you, or anyone, be held to a noncompete or any other agreement you did not sign or otherwise show you were agreeing to? No--as the term "agreement" clearly indicates, you must agree in order to be bound to it.
2) Can a client (e.g. a building or its owner) sign an agreement that he, she, or it will not work with employees of their property management company? Yes--and such an agreement would be binding on them. They, not you, could be sued if they signed such an agreement but violated it. So it is possible your business's clients are prevented from hiring or working with you.


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