What can I do about an expired non-compete clause that my employer is trying to enforce?

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What can I do about an expired non-compete clause that my employer is trying to enforce?

I am a salon booth renter and signed a contract over a year ago with a non-compete clause. After the 1 year contract expired ,I spent a year at the salon without a contract. The owner now wants me to sign another contract with another non-compete clause. I don’t want to, so she has asked me to leave. No problem, but she now says that I am still tied to the non-compete. I have a family to provide for and this would kill my business. There is a contract rent price and a no contract rent price. I have been paying the contract rent price for the last year, however the landlord has sent me a letter to recoup the difference of the 2 prices. I wrote her a check for that and she cashed it. Can she sue me for a non-compete within 15 miles?

Asked on January 18, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) Whether the non-compete would still be in effect even though the booth rental contract has expired cannot be judged in the abstract, but only by the specific terms of the agreement (contracts are governed by their exact language) as applied to your  circumstances.

2) Similarly, whether under the circumstances of having accepted your rent at the contract price, she can seek the difference between that and the non-contract rent will also be based on the exact language of the agreement.

You are therefore advised to bring a copy of the agreement to an attorney who can evaluate it in detail with you. Only by looking at the agreement can a lawyer give you a definitive answer.


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