Can an employee’s non-complete be upheld if they have been laid off?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employee’s non-complete be upheld if they have been laid off?

My husband signed a non-compete and received a $500 bonus for doing so. The non-compete was for 2 years and it has been just over 1 year since he was laid off. He has just received a job offer with a company that would be considered competition. He has not had a job since his lay off so I was wondering if this would be upheld or if we could fight the non-compete.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First thing to do is to read the non-compete and see exactly what it says. The odds are that he it will not apply in the event he was terminated or laid off, since most non-competes only apply when the employee voluntarily leaves, but you need to check the language, since a non-compete is a contract, and the terms of a contract control.

Second, even if it ostensibly would apply, it may not because 2 years is unusually long for anyone but a very senior executive or company founder to be bound. Courts will cut back or reduce non-competes that are too long or too broad (in terms of jobs or area covered) and which prevent someone from earning a living.

You should consult with an employment attorney, who can review the non-compete with you. It may be that for one reason or another, it is not enforceable at this time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption