Will I have an issue getting a job with a company that does some of the same work that I do now since I signed a non-compete agreement?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Will I have an issue getting a job with a company that does some of the same work that I do now since I signed a non-compete agreement?

I work for a spray in bedliner company that also did bolt on accessories. Since I started employment because of my background we now also do 12volt accessories. I am seeking new employment with a mobile audio store and am worried about my NCA. I was told to sign it about 1 year after I started my employment and I am the only person that signed one and am the only signature on the document. My employer did not sign it. Is the NCA even legitimate?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you signed the non-competition agreement, it is enforceable against you. (The employer created the agreement, so it made the "offer"; you showed acceptance of the offer by signing; your continued employment after accepting the offer was the necessary "consideration"--hence, from what you write, there was a valid and enforceable contract entered into.) It is also enforceable even if you are the only employee who signed one, and even if you were made to sign it a year into employment.

You therefore need to reference the agreement itself to see what you can and cannot due. If you have trouble understanding the agreement or have questions about terms (such as its length/duration, or what constitutes a competitive position or employer), bring the agreement to an employment law attorney who can review it with you.

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