Can a non-compete agreement ban a employee from working in the industry for 2 years?

Employer A sold a line of business (employee benefit administration and consulting) to Employer B. Employee C came to work from A to B. While at A, C was the primary relationship manager for A's clients. Employee C, while with B transitioned work to other employees of B. C signed an employment agreement with B prior to joining B. The contract states that C can not work in this industry after termination of employment with B without B's consent for a period of 2 years because it might be detrimental to B's business. C understood this to mean that C could not work on any of B's clients for 2 years following termination. B now assets that the contract states that C can not work in this industry at all without B's advance permission for a period of 2 years. C was let go by B because C's "skill set was not compatible with B's needs" shortly after 1 year of employment with B. If C's skill set was not compatible with B's needs, can B not allow C to work in this industry for 2 years? B had made statements before hiring C that B was not interested in hiring C but did so once B became aware that C was had the client relationships with A. Did B breach the employment contract if B did entered into the contract with C only for the purpose of transitioning the client relationships from A to other employees of B with the intent to fire C once the smooth transition was completed? If B breached the contract as mentioned in the above question, is any part of the employment contract valid?

0 answers  |  asked Sep 1, 2010 2:42 PM [EST]  |  applies to Minnesota

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