Can a non-compete agreement from a web based company prevent me from working in my field or starting my own company?

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Can a non-compete agreement from a web based company prevent me from working in my field or starting my own company?

I’m a certified resume writer currently and for the last 10 years been working for a national web based resume writing co. I’m a contracted worker who signed a non compete agreement restricting me from writing resumes for profit for two years after ending my employment with them. I am want to work for another company or even starting my own resume writing business. Can a non-compete completely prevent being able to write resumes professionally even though this is my chosen profession and would effectively prevent me from making a living?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Non-competition agreements are enforceable in Texas. The fact that they prevent an employee from working in his/her chosen field does not prevent them from being enforced--that, after all, is the entire point of a non-competition agreement.

However, courts will "blue pencil," or reduce in scope, a non-competition agreement if it is found to be too broad or too long in effect. As a rough rule of thumb, two years is too long--generally, for the vast majority of employees, a non-competition agreement will be enforced for up to around one year.

You should bring the agreement to an employment law attorney to review with you, to get a sense for how enforceable it is and what your options are. Good luck.


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