Enforcement of non-compete clause?

UPDATED: Mar 21, 2017

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Enforcement of non-compete clause?

Worked at Steinmart one day. I only rearranged candy and hangers on
clothes. I did not learn anything about trade secrets or pricing or anything
else. Does the non-compete clause apply since it was only one day?

Asked on March 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The general purpose of a non-compete agreemen is to limit the ability of an employee to go into or work for business competing against their employer within a certain geographic area for a certain period of time. There are some common factors that courts look at to determine whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable: Does the employer have a legitimate business interest to protect? What is the geographic scope of the restriction? What is the duration of the agreement (i.e. how long is it for)? Did the employer provide the employee with additional compensation/benefits in return for getting their signing the agreement? Does the agreement keep the employee from doing a type of work different from what they had been performing? Each jurisdiction has its own laws, etc. regarding the validity of such agreements. Additionally, while even working for an employer for just 1 day does not automatically invalidate a noncompete, the fact that you were there for such a short time might lend to an argument that your ex-employer has no legitimate interest to protect since you were not privy to company secrets, etc. during your 1 day tenure. For specific information on your state’s laws you should consult directly with a local attorney who can best advise you further.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a non-compete clause is a a contract: it is an agreement to not compete in certain defined ways (as defined in the agreement). As with any other contract, if you signed it, you are bound or obligated to it: it can be enforced against you, as per the plain terms of what you signed.

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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