Can I be held to a non-compete that may have been signed but is now missing and the company has been sold?

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Can I be held to a non-compete that may have been signed but is now missing and the company has been sold?

My former employer is stating that I cannot pursue certain type of wor- because I signed a non compete form several years ago with a different owner (new agreements were not made after sale). I do not remember signing one and the company has been sold. The form he speaks of cannot be produced. Am I free to work anywhere and pursue any clients as I wish? He says he has sworn statements that the document was witnessed to be signed by me. I am afraid that prospective employers will call my old job and the boss will talk negatively of me. How do I protect myself of this?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

Jonathan Pollard / Pollard LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Many employers use non-competes in a way that is truly inequitable and unethical.  The fact that they can't actually produce the agreement is huge.  If they don't have it then they have no grounds for saying you signed it. 

In terms of assignability of non-compete agreements, I have yet to see any Arizona case law on that issue.  If you provide some more background on what type of job/industry, I might be able to give you some more advice on the merits of the case (not the assignability, but whether the non-compete laws really even apply to you). 

 


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