Is a non-compete agreement enforceable regardless whether you are laid off, fired, or choose to leave?

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Is a non-compete agreement enforceable regardless whether you are laid off, fired, or choose to leave?

The terms are for 2 years in a 100-mile radius. I read that they can be enforced if they are “reasonable” or “do not cause undue burden”, but I can find no definition of what that means. If we would have to sell our house and move away, is that unreasonable or causing undue burden?

Asked on August 16, 2011 Kansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In most states, "non-competition clauses" are strictly construed against the person or entity trying to enforce the provision. In California, these clauses are only enforceable in the context of a sale of a business where "goodwill" is a specific part of the purchase.

In many states, "non-competition clauses" in a non-business context are not enforceable as being violative of public policy. Public policy in this country is that everyone has the right to find a job and work so as not to be on the public dole.

Examples  in violation of this policy would be when a former employer attempts to prevent a former employee from working as an employee for a competitor.

I suggest that you consult with an attorney about the "non-compete" agreement that you are writing about. I suspect that it may not be enforceable.

Good luck.


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