Can my employer enforce the a non-compete if I join my client?

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Can my employer enforce the a non-compete if I join my client?

I’m on an H1b visa and I work for my client through an employer. My client offered me a permanent opportunity which I took it and transferred my h1b. I gave 2 weeks of notice to my employer. They emailed me saying you signed non-compete so you can’t join the client. Some other facts, my client and employer have a contract that clearly states that they can convert a contractor to a permanent employee. Also, my employer is in NJ and the client is located in IL. I am moving to Canada and going to work from there for the client. What should I do?

Asked on September 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Non-compete agreements (and their close cousins, non-solicitation agreements) are legally enfoceable in most states, including NJ and IL, in the U.S.; we cannot offer an opinion on Canadian law, since this is a U.S. law site and we are U.S. attorneys. Non-competes and non-solicitations are contracts, and like all contracts, are enforced according to their plain terms; if you signed an agreement which bars you from working for a client, then if you violate that, under U.S. law, they could sue you for compensation or for a court order barring you from working for them.
You should consult with a Canadian attorney about whether this can be enforced against you in Canada.


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