As a subcontractor in the state of Ca, can I legally take referrals from the companies clients as my own clients

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As a subcontractor in the state of Ca, can I legally take referrals from the companies clients as my own clients

I work as as a subcontracted chef for a personal chef company in CA. My
employer had me sign a non-compete agreement that bars me from not only
working for existing clients the clients that I got from the company personally
but also any people referred to me by that client. So, according to the contract,
If a friend of one of my existing clients wants to hire me as a chef directly and
not through the company, this would not be allowed. Is this legal?

Asked on January 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. Terms in non-solicitations or non-competition agreements which limit your ability to work with the employer's clients or referrals from those clients are generally enforced, because those terms do not stop you from competing generally--they merely stop you from using connections you had only due to your employment to take work that might otherwise have gone to the employer. That limitation is seen as reasonable.


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