Can a company require you to sign 2nd non-compete during continuous employment for longer duration?

I signed a non-compete with a duration of 18 months when I was hired 20 years ago. The company has changed names but not owners since then and just recently it was decided that all employees must sign a new non-compete with a duration of 5 years. Is this legal? Will 5 years be enforceable in Ohio? If I don't sign I feel I will be terminated since they are an at will company. Would this be grounds for discrimination since I already have an agreement?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 13, 2010 6:38 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

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Answers (1)

Bruce Elfvin
While this appears to be a little unusual, it is not per se illegal. As non-competition agreements are legal provided they accomplish protecting the legitimate interests of the employer to protect certain information or processes. It is difficult to believe that is 2010 there exists either customer related information or processes that are being used that will require 5 years of legitimate protection. Ohio courts are free to re-write the terms of a non-compete and often do this, especially on unreasonable time frames or geographic coverage.

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Jan 14, 2010 08:52 AM [EST]

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