How to fight a non-compete

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How to fight a non-compete

My Company was sold last year, at that time I had to sign a non-compete on very
short notice. Again this year 2/23/16another non-compete had to be signed. E-mail
from Corp. office stated anyone who refused to sign would not be employed on
3/1/16 . I’ve been offered a position with a competitive company, what are my
options since both were sign under duress?
Thanks in advance for any advise.

Asked on March 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They were not signed under duress based on what you write--at least not in the eyes of the law. "Duress" is illegal pressure: threats of violence or blackmail, for example. But threatening someone with something you have the right to do--such as threatening an employee with termination, since employers may terminate employees at will--or presenting them with a bad choice, such as sign or be fired, is not legally duress. People sign all kinds of agreements--e.g. plea deals; accident settlements; divorce agreements--under pressure, and simply being under pressure is not illegal and does not invalidate the agreements. d on what you write, the law would regard you as having freely chosen to enter into the agreements because you preferred the agreement to the consequences (e.g beng fired), and so the agreements are enforceable against you. 
That said, while non-competition agreements are legal, the law does not allow the to be too excessively long or geographically broad: there are time and territory limits to what the courts will enforce. What those limits are depends on the facts, including what your level or position was (the "higher-up" you are, the more restrictions can be put on you), the area you live in (the further people will travel to get goods or services where you are, the wider the area that may be restricted), and the skills your job took (the more specialized you were, the more restrictions, on the theory that your competition would hurt more than the competition of someone in a very "fungible" job). You should bring the agreement to an employment law attorney to review with you in detail, to see if it is excessive; if it is, you may be able to get its scope or reach reduced.

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