Can I work for a customer of my former employer if I signed a confidentiality and non-compete agreement?

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Can I work for a customer of my former employer if I signed a confidentiality and non-compete agreement?

Asked on June 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally, the purpose of non-compete agreements is to prevent a former employee from working for a competitor.  If you signed a regular non-compete agreement, then working for a customer, as opposed to a competitor, should be okay.  The caveat, however, is if your non-compete or confidentiality agreement says something different.  If your agreement also bans you from working for a customer, then you might have an issue. IF you have an agreement that is this restrictive, have an employment law attorney look it over before you pitch in the towel.  Many attorneys now offer inexpensive consultations, which could well be worth the piece of mind and stability.  Make sure that you seek out an attorney that regularly practices employment law though.  The Supreme Court of Texas came down with some new opinions in the last year which have really impacted the enforceability of non-compete agreement.  You need to have an attorney that is on top of this current change so that you get a solid opinion. 


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