Can I be sued for breach of non-compete?

In late 2002, I began working for a not-for-profit company that publishes websites for various clients, including "Client X".

Nearly a year later, I was asked by my employer to sign a Confidentiality and Non-Compete agreement. I did so in good faith but was not given anything (I believe it's called "consideration") by my employer for signing.

In January of 2004, my employment with the company was terminated and I subsequently found employment in an entirely different field. When I left the company, I received nothing from the company in terms of severance pay, etc.

In June of 2004 I was approached by "Client X" to see if I would like to work for them to help publish their website. They had decided to end their relationship with my former employer and start publishing their website on their own.

I did not agree in writing or verbally to do anything with "Client X", yet when my former employer found out that they had approached me, he threatened to sue me for breach of the contract.

Since I did not go to work for "Client X", is there any legal action he can take?

2 answers  |  asked Jun 18, 2004 2:41 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

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Answers (2)

Aaron Maduff
Can I be sued for breach of non-compete?

Having not gone to work for Client X, there does not appear to be any claim that your former employer can make at all. However, even if you went to work for Client X, there are a number of reasons why your former employer may not be able to successfully sue you. A lot of it dependso n what the non-compete agreement says. It may be that working for client X is not really covered by the non-compete agreement, it may also be that the non-compete agreement is overly broad and therefore not enforceable. It also depends on what kind of work you were doing for your former employer and what kind of work you would be doing for Client X. You should discuss this with an attorney who is going to need some more information, including a copy of the non-compete. Call us or any of the other fine employment lawyers on this system.
Aaron Maduff

posted by Aaron Maduff  |  Jun 21, 2004 11:57 AM [EST]
Aaron Maduff
Can I be sued for breach of non-compete?

Having not gone to work for Client X, there does not appear to be any claim that your former employer can make at all. However, even if you went to work for Client X, there are a number of reasons why your former employer may not be able to successfully sue you. A lot of it dependso n what the non-compete agreement says. It may be that working for client X is not really covered by the non-compete agreement, it may also be that the non-compete agreement is overly broad and therefore not enforceable. It also depends on what kind of work you were doing for your former employer and what kind of work you would be doing for Client X. You should discuss this with an attorney who is going to need some more information, including a copy of the non-compete. Call us or any of the other fine employment lawyers on this system.
Aaron Maduff

posted by Aaron Maduff  |  Jun 21, 2004 11:56 AM [EST]

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