If I decide not to sign a non-compete clause can I be fired?

UPDATED: Mar 27, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Mar 27, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I decide not to sign a non-compete clause can I be fired?

I work for a small company that is growing. Recently they announced that there are new policies and procedures. Within the new policy there is a non-compete clause that states that I cannot work in the mental health field for 2 years within a 100 mile radius of any of their locations. I am considered an at-will employee. If I quit, can I receive unemployment due to working agreement drastically changing?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, as an at-will employee, you can be fired for not signing a non-competition clause.

2) No, if you quit, it will be considered a voluntary separation from employment--you are choosing voluntarily to leave, even if it's for what you consider good reasons--and you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits.

3) While noncompetition agreements are generally enforceable, if they are challenged in court and they are too broad in either geographic scope or too long in time, the court may "blue pencil" it and reduce it to more reasonable levels. For most employees who were not also owners of a business that was sold, a one-year non-compete is about the longest a court would enforce; and depending on the employment market in your field, the number of locations your employer has, the population distribution and employment opportunities in your geographic area, etc., a 100-mile exclusion might be too broad. So it is likely the case that that you would be bound by a non-compete, but it may be reduced somewhat in effective scope if you challenged it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption