How do I get out of a non-compete ageement?

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How do I get out of a non-compete ageement?

I signed a non-compete agreement when I was hired, and upon further inspection, its requirements seem a little too broad. It states hat I cannot be rehired at another firm within 50 miles of clients. Our company has offices scattered throughout the entire southeast of the country, so realisticly, it would be impossible for me to be rehired anywhere for six months after my resignation/termination. I’m wondering if these requirements are plausible or too broad to be enforced?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Courts will "blue pencil," or judicially modify, a non-competition agreement is too broad in scope and precludes the employee from any reasonable possibility of employement. A key factor is what do you mean by "another firm"--if that is any employer, regardless of the industry or market, that would clearly be overbroad; but if it means only a firm competing with your current employer, that may not be too broad--it depends on the circumstances. For example, say you are a realtor; since  that is a very specific skill set, not being able to work for any realtor may be overbroad. On the other hand, say you an office manager and you are currently working for a real estate company; since you could be an office manager for any other type of business, restricing you from working as an office manager for another real estate firm may not be too broad.

You should bring a copy of the agreement to an employment law attorney, who can review its language and your circumstances with you.


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