Can my “boss” legally ask me to sign a non-compete contract after 6 months?

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Can my “boss” legally ask me to sign a non-compete contract after 6 months?

I am an independent contractor for a hair salon. I have been working in the salon at 50% commission. Just recently, the salon owner asked me to sign a contract stating that when I no longer work there, I will not work within a 5 mile radius to the north, south, east or west of the salon. Also the contract states that when I no longer work there, the clients belong to the salon and I will not contact them and if I do I will have to pay them $1,200 per month for damages. Can they do this?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the salon can ask you to do this. And unless you currently have a contract which guarantees your employement--e.g., a contract guarantying you the right to work there for, say, the next year--the salon can enforce their "request" by not employing you any longer if you won't sign the agreement. Any employer, whether of employees or of independent contractors, may make it a requirement of employment that the worker sign an non-competition agreement. Your recourse, if you don't want to sign it, is to stop working there. You also, of course, can try to negotiate different terms to the agreement, but like any negotiation, that is voluntary--i.e. you can't make the salon offer different terms, but only see if you can work something out with them.


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