I recently was hired as a independent contractor for a firm in Columbus Ohio, I flew out and signed a two month working agreement. At that meeting they hand me a confidential/ non solicitation/non compete intellectual property agreement.

I Recently Was Hired As A Independent Contractor For A Firm In Columbus Ohio, I Flew Out And Signed A Two Month Working Agreement. At That Meeting They Hand Me A Confidential/ Non Solicitation/Non Compete Intellectual Property Agreement. I Told Them That i never signed one before and needed to review it, They signed the work agreement and told me bring it home and review, My NY lawyer told me not to sign as is and also pointed out it was enforceable by Ohio guidelines, I was due a check for work performed and they held my money because I didn't get it back to them. I pointed out to them that my pay agreement had nothing to do with this other agreement, they released my money and i sent them suggestions for amendments. In the meantime we signed two major accounts (my relationships) They returned the agreement modified and said i had a week to settle it. It still is not acceptable and now my commissions going forward would be at risk if i dont sign cause they now can choose not to renew my agreement based on me not signing

The deal signed can increase their business anywhere from 20 to 50%. I signed a two month work agreement with them that had the option to review based on results it could be very lucrative. I already feel that my pushback is not healthy, I don't know if age can be an issue but i am 62 and a year away from some contacts can be considered a lot more for me than a younger sales person. I feel pressured to sign the agreement, They did make some adjustments but not enough to give me comfort to sign, What are my options?

2 answers  |  asked Apr 10, 2015 11:24 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (2)

Bruce Elfvin
You at least have leverage to negotiate a favorable treatment of your current contacts and associations. It is one of the reasons they hired you. If you do not have counsel you need one, in Ohio these agreements especially non-competes must be designed to protect the legitimate interests of the employer and not to merely stop normal competition. You can find an attorney near you at www.oelasmart.net/directory

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Apr 14, 2015 06:55 AM [EST]
David Neel
Non-competes are enforceable against an independent contractor under Ohio law. Payment of sales commissions to independent contractors is governed by statute (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1335.11).

Your options are (1) try to negotiate the agreement to your satisfaction; (2) sign the agreement as is; (3) refuse to sign it.

You might want to consult with Mr. Klingshirn and/or get his book on the subject of non-competes.

posted by David Neel  |  Apr 11, 2015 03:50 AM [EST]

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