Is my non-compete binding

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Is my non-compete binding

I no longer work for an employer who I signed a non-compete with. The non-compete agreement says I cannot sell a competitor’s product for 3 years anywhere in the united states. Their company is based in AL and my sales territory was MI where I live, OH, IN, IL, and WI. I left the company because they were not paying commission as they said they would when I was hired. A competitor to my previous employer is now asking me to work for them, however I am worried about my previous employer coming after me and forcing me to pay court costs and lawyer fees. I need help to determine if I am bound by the non-compete and if I can work with the new employer.

Asked on October 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the employer breached their obligations, such as by not paying you what they were supposed to, that would likely invalidate the non-compete: you signed the non-compete in exchange for employent (or continued employment, if you were already working there), which is employment at an agreed or understood level of compensation: if you are not paid as agreed, they did not provide you what they were supposed to, and that could invalidate the agreement. This doesn't mean they might not try to sue you to enforce the agreement, but their breach should provide you a defense against its enforcement.
 


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