"If I sign a non-compete agreement, can I work in the same field later on for a different company? I want to make sure I'm not limiting my future career options."
Many employers require their employees to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment. There are a number of reasons for such agreements. For example, an employee may have access to trade secrets, proprietary technology or to confidential customer lists and pricing information.
Massachusetts courts carefully scrutinize and strictly construe non-compete agreements. A non-compete agreement is enforceable if it is:
- Necessary to protect an employer's legitimate business interest;
- Reasonably limited in geographic scope and duration;
- Reasonably limited to the scope of occupation; and
- Supported by consideration.
Severance packages may also include critical non-compete agreements. Before signing, be knowledgeable of the effects any such agreement may have on your future ability to obtain employment.
If you are asked to sign a non-compete, you should take extra care. Even though it may not be enforceable, it might take years to litigate the question, and in the meantime, you may lose the opportunity you sought. Contact us
if you have questions.
This information is not a do-it-yourself guide to resolving employment disputes or handling employment litigation. While some may find this useful for understanding the basic issues and their legal context, it is NOT a substitute for experienced legal counsel and does not provide legal advice. Please contact the team at Gordon Law Group to discuss your specific case.