If I signed a non-compete that covers 1 year/100 mile radius, what are my rights regarding online work?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2015

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If I signed a non-compete that covers 1 year/100 mile radius, what are my rights regarding online work?

I was a writer for a magazine and the term ends in 2 months. A friend of mine from another state is opening an online mag that will compete with my former employer. Distance is no issue but could an online mag be considered within radius because I will be living at home and working for the online mag? The owner of the mag is 800 miles away.

Asked on November 7, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the exact wording of the non-competition agreement: non-competes are contracts, and like any contracts, are governed by their terms. For a definitive answer, bring the agreement to an attorney to review with you.
As a general matter, because non-competition is to protect the employer from competition, the issue is usually where the competing company sells its product or markets it service. If the online mag targets the same customers as your current magazine and competes with it in terms of content, etc., then it could be considered to be covered under the terms of the non-compete regardless of the location of its owner--especially if your current magazine also has an online, as well as paper, component.

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