Can an in-home senior care agency fine you for working for a client on your own?

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Can an in-home senior care agency fine you for working for a client on your own?

I am presently employed with an in-home care agency that had dropped my client

from getting service from them. The client’s family now wants me to continue to

care for their loved one. That being the case, if the agency let the client go do I have

the right to work for them if I choose to do so? Can the agency fine me if I was to quit working for them or is it best to quit before I continue with the client?

Asked on February 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether you signed any sort of non-competition or non-solicitation agreement. If you did, then you need to check its terms and see if it applies to this situation: such agreements are legal and enforceable, so if you signed an agreement which would prohibit you from working with this client, you cannot work with them.
But if you did not sign an agreement blocking this, then since the agency let the client go, you should be able to work for them with no problem: the only times you can't work for a former client are when you signed an agreement not to, or sometimes (depending on the exact circumstances) when you improperly caused the client to leave so that you could take them over personally.


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