What to do if I’ve worked for an investment firm for for 6 years and I am being asked to sign a new restrictive employment contract?

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What to do if I’ve worked for an investment firm for for 6 years and I am being asked to sign a new restrictive employment contract?

Although the wording is similar to my original contract, there is some more restrictive language that basically bars me from talking to my clients for 1 year if I leave, even if the client contacts me. I don’t understand how they can do that? Is this really enforcable? Doesn’t a contract require consideration? I’m not “getting” anything by signing this, other than keeping my job.

Asked on December 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Keeping your job is consideration, IF they could otherwise fire you or terminate your employment. If you have a contract already, if under it, you cannot be terminated in the present circumstances, then they can't require you to sign a new contract, since 1) they are not offering consideration (you can keep your job anyway) and 2) if you refuse to sign, there may be little or nothing they can do to you.

However, if your present contact expired, or if under its terms, you could be terminated (such as with notice), then they could fire you if you won't sign the new contract; and since you could be terminated, allowing you to keep working would constitute legally sufficient consideration.


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