Can a company enforce a noncompete that I was never aware of?

Can a company legally enforce a non compete contract without my knowledge or signature of such an agreement? I still work for the original company but I lost an opportunity at a competitor's business when a third party placement agency informed me of a non compete contract the hiring company had with my company during the hiring process. I was recruited for this position by a placement agency which determined that I was a good fit for the job which is a different position then the one I currently have. Also I am just a non exempt laborer.

When I attempted to get a copy of any paperwork showing that I signed a non compete the HR lady told me it did not matter whether or not I signed one I am covered under it.

I also attempted to get a waiver from the plant manager but he assured me that the president would not allow anyone to have a waiver.

1 answer  |  asked Mar 11, 2011 4:32 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
It sounds like the placement agency signed a non-compete with your company, which means that they cannot assist you in going to the competitor. Unless you were a party to that agreement, though, I do not believe that you can be bound by it.

I disagree with the HR lady. A valid contract requires offer, acceptance and assent. If the company did not present a non-compete and you did nothing to accept restrictions on your employment, or if you did not assent to entering into it the agreement, then you cannot be bound by it.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Mar 12, 2011 11:18 AM [EST]

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