Forcing a non-compete


I currently work for a Technical Staffing Firm which I joined in February 2004. At the time I started with them I signed a one-page non-compete. Just last week (April 2008, 4 years later) I have been asked to sign a new non-compete that is much more extravagant and wordy. I have not been given a raise or new job within the company to warrant this. My question is: Is it legal for them to force me to sign this agreement. Can they terminate me if I do not sign it (given the fact I am still an employee and signed one when I started). Any assistance is appreciated. I have a copy of the Non-compete if you would like to see it.

1 answer  |  asked Apr 24, 2008 2:46 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
You must be paid for a noncompete that you sign after you begin employment.

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, generally, you must be paid for a noncompete that you sign after you begin employment. If the noncompetition agreement you are being given now, four years after you began working for your employer, contains new terms and conditions, and you are not paid for it (in cash, a promotion, valuable perks, etc.), then the employer is unlikely to be able to enforce it.

Can they fire you for not signing an unenforceable agreement? It is likely that you would have no claim against them if they did, but you are likely to be able to get unemployment compensation once they fire you.

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,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Apr 24, 2008 3:00 PM [EST]

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