What to do about an employment contract that restricts my potential employment options?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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What to do about an employment contract that restricts my potential employment options?

I have a job interview coming up soon and also received an employment contract renewal from my current employer requesting that I sign a new contract that renews every two years and has a non-compete clause and a 90 day termination notice clause. The non-compete clause is reasonable, as it prevents me from working elsewhere within a 25 range and in a place that provides similar services. The 90 day notice to terminate has me quite concerned, as I am always seeking potential job opportunities to allow for growth and advancement. I’m currently not under contract because my old has expired.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

We cannot advise you as to what to do--that is something you must decide, based on all the factors, pro and con.

What we can do is to confirm that a notice clause in an employment contract is enforceable, so if you sign it, the company can require you to provide 90 days notice--and take legal action if you do not.

One option to consider is whether you can negotiate for notice (and if not 90 days, some reasonable period, such as 30, 45, or 60) to be reciprocal. That is, if the company can be obligated to give you notice of termination or layoff, while that would not increase your freedom, it would, as compensation for potentially tying yourself up somewhat, give you additional security.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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