Illegal non-compete agreement presented for me to sign

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Illegal non-compete agreement presented for me to sign

I recently took a new job in Oregon. After, now 17 days after staring my job,
my employer is attempting to have me sign a non-compete agreement that violates
state law. What should I do?

I meet all the qualifications to be covered by a non-compete in terms of being
salaried, wage level, etc. Not my first rodeo.

However, as I see it they are in violation of several Oregon non-compete laws
1. The conditions of employment in my offer letter did not state that I would
be required to sign a non-compete agreement.
2. They are trying to make me sign an agreement that lasts for 5 years. Oregon
limits it to two years.

One question I do not know is if they make the change on the length of the non-
compete agreement, can they still make me sign it after working at the company
for two weeks.

Thank You

Asked on October 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can make you sign the agreement (assuming it is otherwise legal: e.g. as to duration) even after already working 2 weeks. A non-competition agreement is a contract; a contract requires consideration, or something of value; without an actual written employment contract which guarantees your employment for a fixed duration which has not expired, such as one-year, two-year, etc. employment contract, you are an "employee at will"; that means they could terminate you at any time, without notice, for reason; therefore, you have no right to or guaranty of a job; that means that the employer continuing to employ you--not terminating you, but providing you a job instead--is consideration (something of value) that will make the agreement enforceable. And conversely: if you refuse to sign, then unless you are protected by a written employment contract as described above, your employer may terminate you.


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