I work at a automotive company for over a year now and I of course signed a Non Competition agreement under the job description of a File Clerk, but now I work in Accounts Receivables and I am also a Purchasing Agent. The agreement that I signed says I have to be terminated, quit and wait 1 year, or work at competitor that's about 100 miles away or i will get sued for all that I worth and then i have to pay their attorney fees and any damages I may cause. The original company that I work for was bought out twice around the time I was hired, in the non-compete says that it includes all sister companys names except the one that bought us out the last time which is a multi-billion dollar automotive company. The manager there at the time i was hired (he started the company from the ground up) quit after several months of me being there (he never signed one and this company is mad at him for doing so). He opened a new business literally right across the street and I admit that I have gone over and spoke with him on the matter of the non compete agreement and he said that I would be okay in not being sued but He would be the one that would get the lawsuit. He told me that I need to get fired in anyway possible if i would want to work for him but its harder than it sounds. I am miserable at my current job and I have waited at least 6 months to get fired thinking they will eliminate my job. My questions would be: is there more of a chance of him getting sued than me? Since I am in Accounts Receivable and Purchasing am i that valuable as to compared to a Sales Rep? He is a great manager and he is willing to pay me more than what I make now and since I am young just starting on my own it would be great but if i got sued i would get get in a hole and never get out and I also do not want to put a burden on him and his new company. Should I breach the agreement or should i try to get fired? Please let me know if you need any specifics.1 answer | asked Jan 10, 2008 10:28 PM [EST] in Tortious interference | applies to Pennsylvania
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.
That being said, you may not be bound by the noncompetition agreement. The 'buy-outs' of your employer may negate the noncompete, depending on whether a valid assignment clause is in the agreement. Furthermore, all noncompetition agreements require a 'legitimate business interest' under the law. If you are in AR/Purchasing, there may be no 'legitimate business reason' for enforcing a noncompetition agreement, such as trade secrets, investment in your training, your relationship with customers or your knowledge of their secret future business plans.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.
/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
posted by Christopher Ezold | Jan 11, 2008 10:28 AM [EST]