I a non-compete clause signed 8 years ago still valid?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I a non-compete clause signed 8 years ago still valid?

I signed a contract upon employment, eight years ago, that includes a non-compete clause. I am a hair stylist, and it states that I cannot work within a 5 mile radius of the salon for one year after employment ends. I want to leave and notify clients who may want to follow me, however the new salon I got a job at is technically a bit under the 5 mile radius. Is this contract legal?

Asked on December 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A non-competition agreement does not "expire": it will stay in effect for so long as you work there, and therefore, the one-year non-competition period does not begin until you leave employment, whether that is one year after signing the agreement, eight years after signing, eighteen years, or (if you somehow lived and worked long enough) eighty years after. So that you signed it 8 years ago is irrelevant: the agreement is still valid.
The type of agreement you describe is generally enforceable: it has a tight limitation on its radius (only 5 miles) which courts would find is reasonable and legal. A one-year period is on the long side of what is typically enforceable, but still within the range of enforceability. There is no reason to think that a court would not describe the agreement you describe.

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