Ohio non compete

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Ohio non compete

I am a licensed massage therapist and have been working for my work the past 3 years. I signed a non-compete when I first started. At the time my boss told me that he does not enforce them and will not enforce it unless I take their clients with me. Some of the stipulations on the non-compete is that for a year after termination you cannot offer massage within 6 miles of any of their locations they are everywhere. I have decided to leave, and the place I really want to work is 1.5 miles away. However, from my research in Ohio non-competes are very much enforceable as long as they are reasonable. One of the things that makes them

not reasonable is if it causes hardships. I also have epilepsy. I medically cannot drive and because of this, would this be considered a hardship? I believe it is because my only means of transportation is walking or the bus. I really can’t walk 6 miles and bus systems, well they don’t stop most paces here very often. I want to believe what is origionally said but he asked a co-worker of mine the other day where I was going and that I know I have a non-compete so I am a little anxious about it.

Asked on August 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your epilepsy is most likely not grounds to not enforce the noncompetition agreement; the sort of hardship which invalidates them is typically a more general or global hardship which would affect any person signing that agreement, not one specific to you: i.e. something in the terms of the agreement which might affect any person. The reason is, almost everyone could cite some reason specific to their unique situation making the noncompetition a "hardship": child care needs; caring for an elderly parent or disabled spouse; heavy medical or credit card debt; going to school while working; etc. If the courts looked at whether there is something in your situation making the noncompetition a hardship, they would be invalidating most noncompetition agreements. In addition, you have options--e.g. Uber, Lyft, and the like--to get around, or simply dealing with an planning around an inconvenient bus schedule--so this is less a hardship than a matter of convenience; many people, after all, live or work where it can be difficult to get to work. It is unlikely you can get the noncompete invalidated.


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