You’re Asked to Sign a Non-Compete. What Should You Do?
No matter what type of business you own, there’s always going to be some competition. This is especially true in the technology industry, but every company is going to face some degree of competition at some point. Each company deals with competition differently. Some create better products to stay ahead of the competition. Others make their employees sign non-compete agreements to prevent the spread of secret, classified information and data that can harm the company’s profits and prevent growth.
Non-compete agreements are growing in popularity. In fact, in the United States alone, tens of millions of workers have signed such a document. The problem is that many of them don’t even realize it. So when they decide to leave the company, they can face difficulties finding new employment.
Non-compete agreements are typically very restrictive. They govern where and when you can work after leaving a company, so you don’t have free will. Non-compete agreements are typically used to keep executives from unexpectedly leaving a company and taking secrets with them. However, all types of workers—even fast food workers earning minimum wage—can be asked to sign such an agreement.
Chances are, you’ll be asked to sign a non-compete agreement at some point in your career. Should you? Here are some things to do first.
Non-compete agreements rarely favor the employee, so see what you’re getting out of the deal. This document should be beneficial to both sides. Ideally, you should receive extra pay or some sort of benefit for signing. However, in states like Florida, you don’t have to be offered anything special. In fact, in order to keep your job, you may be forced to sign the agreement, whether you like it or not. Check your state laws to make sure your employer is not simply trying to take advantage of you.
If the agreement prohibits you from working for a competitor within a 50-mile radius for a period of one year, that severely limits your opportunities. You may even have to relocate to find a suitable job. Therefore, you should try to negotiate. Ask to shorten the term or radius to make your job search a bit easier.
Take it Seriously
Non-competes are enforceable in court, so if you violate it, it’s possible the company will sue you. If they find out you accepted a job with a competitor, you could get fired from your new job. The best course of action is to be honest with your current employer. If you receive a job offer elsewhere, talk to HR about it. Convince them that it’s not violating the non-compete agreement. They will either sue or they won’t, so be prepared for their reaction.
Learn More About Non-Compete Agreements
If you’re starting a new job and asked to sign a non-compete agreement, you should always think twice before doing so. These documents are legally binding, so if you fail to follow them, your company could take legal action against you.
Protect yourself and your career opportunities with Orlando non-compete agreement lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal. He can review the non-compete and ensure your rights are protected. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (407) 890-0023.