What to do if I signed a non-compete/non-nisclosure agreement with my previous employer?

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What to do if I signed a non-compete/non-nisclosure agreement with my previous employer?

There is no mention of how long this agreement lasts so is there a default timeframe that these types of agreements last? The reason I ask is I am being contacted by one of their current clients to help them out. I know that this would be competing with them so I am saying no but I am wondering at what point I can start accepting this kind of work again. One other thing I am currently working as a contractor for the previous company, just answering questions that they might have. They had me sign another nondisclosure agreement when I became a contractor, no mention of timeframe on this one either.

Asked on October 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A non-disclosure agreement can--and usually does--last forever; it's legal to never allow someone to disclose proprietary or confidential information.

As to a noncompete agreement: courts will not enforce one that is too long, but there is no hard and fast rule as to what would be too long an agreement. For most employees, a reasonable and enforceable one is between 6 and 12 months, with the higher level/more highly compensated the employee is, the longer the time frame. You should consult with an employment law attorney about this case.


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