If I am an intern and sign a non-compete convenant, does it count since I am not a paid worker?

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If I am an intern and sign a non-compete convenant, does it count since I am not a paid worker?

It stated that I cannot work for 6 months in the field related to the job. Is it still binding since I am not a paid worker and only an intern?

Asked on February 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The agreement is most likely binding. To form a contract, there must be an exchange of "consideration," or something  of value. However, while money (e.g. wages) is certainly the most common consideration or thing of value, it is not the only one--training and experience, for example, are clearly valuable. (If they were not, why would you do an unpaid internship, for example?) Therefore, since your internship has provided you things of value, there was consideration to bind the contract.


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