Howbinding is a non-compete agreement?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Howbinding is a non-compete agreement?

I have worked in a printing company for a little over a year and signed a non-compete agreement when I was hired. I have been offered employment with another company in the same city that also does printing, however they offer insurance and 401K which my current employment does not. Can I legally leave where I am now because of the advanced benefits? I twant to tell my current employer what I have been offered and that if they can match the benefits I will stay.

Asked on January 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your state (Wisconsin) does enforce non-competition agreements, to the extent that they are reasonably necessary to protect legitimate business interests. Stopping competition by former employees, at least for a reasonable period of time (such as preventing employees from immediately using their knowledge or experience to compete with their now-former employee) is typically seen as legitimate, so the presumption is that a non-compete is enforceable, so long as the geographic scope (i.e. area covered), duration (how long), and types of jobs prevented (i.e. only ones doing the same or similar things as what you did at the employer) are reasonable. Generally, a six or so month limitation will be considered reasonable; in terms of area covered or geographic scope, that depends on the industry and your area: how distant are competitors to your employer located. For example, a local print shop might only need protection from competition within a 5 mile radius; a newspaper printer, for competion within that newspaper's circulation area; a book printer, it could even be a wider area, since they serve customers nationwide.
To really know the limitations on you, bring a copy of this agreement to an employement law attorney to review it, and the specifics of your job, with you.

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 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.

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