Answers Posted By Nina Kazazian

Answer to Just want to leave peacefully!

Enforceability of a non-compete in Colorado

Not all non-compete provisions are enforceable. This is a matter of state law. Is the agreement governed by Colorado law or another state? If the agreement is governed by Colorado law, you should be aware that Colorado has a statute that makes non-compete provisions unenforceable UNLESS they fit into 4 specified exceptions. In order to answer your question, I would need more information about your position and the company's business.

You do not indicate what your position was with this company or details about what kind of business in which the company is engaged, so I can't determine from your question whether any of the exceptions might apply.

In addition, there are contract principles which also come into play to determine whether such a provision is enforceable. Such provisions usually have to be reasonably narrow in terms of duration and geographical scope. And, the company must have given you some kind of "consideration" in exchange for your assent to the non-compete.

Did you sign a written agreement? Did you do so as a condition of employment or after you had been working there for a while? If the latter, did they pay you something of value--not just continued employment--in exchange for your agreement?

In short, your question requires an examination of the document and other facts about your employment and the circumstances which led to your resignation.

I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney to evaluate your situation, and help you determine the appropriate strategy. Some issues can be resolved through negotiation with the company, and if you have information that might give you leverage, this could be helpful.

Any potential employer during the one-year term will also need to evaluate the agreement, because if they hire you in violation of the agreement, they could be subject to liability for claims as well.

Please feel free to contact me at my office (303-888-1100) to set up a consultation. I should be able to answer your question in that meeting.

posted Aug 23, 2006 12:51 AM [EST]

Answer to What constitutes a comparable offer of employment?

Severance Payment

What constitutes a "comparable offer" is a fact-specific question. I recommend you consult with an attorney for a review of the terms of the severance offer, and a comparison of the new job vs. the old job to evaluate the strength of your claim for severance, and to evaluate whether you have other legal claims arising out of this situation.

In addition, if you have already made a demand for payment, you may have a claim under the Colorado Wage Act. Such a claim could provide for attorneys' fees and costs, plus a penalty amount, to be paid by the employer if you prevail.

If the arbitration provision is valid, this may be the avenue you will have to pursue to enforce your claims. You should definitely retain a lawyer to represent you in this process.

Because your claims may be barred if they are not brought within certain time periods, I recommend you contact an attorney to set up a consultation as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact my office if you would like to set up a consultation. Our telephone number is (303) 888-1100. Please note that we would first need the name of the employer(s) to do a conflict check (verify that we do not represent the employer at issue here). We also require an in-person meeting and a written fee agreement before taking on new clients.

posted Jun 4, 2006 1:16 PM [EST]

Answer to Are non-compete's enforceable if you don;t sign anything?

Enforceability of unsigned agreement

In order for a non-compete to be enforceable, it should be signed. In some instances, an employer (or employee) could argue that the written agreement is enforceable even though it is not signed, but they would have to prove that there was an oral agreement, and the writing memorialized the terms of that agreement.

In Colorado, however, a non-compete that is in writing but not signed would be very difficult to enforce. Also, even if the non-compete were valid, the duration (2 years) probably isn't enforceable. The court would probably modify that part to 6 months to a year.

If the employer wants you to sign the non-compete at this point, it would not be enforceable without "consideration"--meaning that the employer would have to give you something extra (a raise, bonus, etc) in exchange for your assent.

The employer may, however, terminate your employment if you refuse to sign, since absent an agreement which specifies the duration of employment, employment is "at-will" (meaning it can be terminated by either party at any time, except for unlawful reasons, with or without notice or cause).

You should consult with an attorney about the details of your situation (was the non-compete described to you when you started your employment? Is the written provision the same as what was discussed before you started?) Please feel free to call me to set up a consultation meeting.

Nina Kazazian

posted Jul 15, 2005 12:53 AM [EST]

Answer to Can I take them to Small Claims Court ?

Small Claims Court not the forum for wrongful term

1) Normally, you should receive payment for the weeks you certified for benefits but those benefits were not paid because your employer contested your eligibility. You should talk to the unemployment board if you have not received those benefits.

2) The fact that you were terminated and replaced by another individual may raise claims for discrimination or wrongful termination. You should talk to an attorney to determine what, if any, such claims you might have.

Small claims is not the forum for these legal claims.

If you believe you were terminated in violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws, you have a limited amount of time to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or Colo. Civil Rights Division, which must be done in order to preserve any claims you might have. Although not required, you should consult with an attorney before filing such a charge.

I urge you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss these matters and determine what claims you might have and how to preserve and redress your rights.

If you would like to set up a consultation, please contact me at 303-860-8400. Thanks.
Nina Kazazian

posted Mar 22, 2004 3:29 PM [EST]

Answer to I want to resign due to health reasons

Severance and unemployment benefits generally not

Normally, if an employee voluntarily resigns, she will not be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits or severance pay. However, you may have a basis for negotiating the terms of your termination (including severance and unemployment benefits) before you quit. In order to preserve your rights, I encourage you to talk to an attorney before you let anyone at your company know that you intend to resign.

I would be happy to set up a consultation with you. Please feel free to contact me directly 303-860-8400 x 112.
Nina Kazazian

posted Mar 18, 2004 11:11 AM [EST]