I signed a non-compete with a software company.

I signed a non-compete with a software company that stated I could not work for a competitor. My job was to fix computer equipment in the field for our clients. I was offered a position with another company but they do not do the same type of computer software that my employer now does. But they do have a mutual customer in that we provide our client with Medical software but the other company covers the computer network and computers themselves. Am I violating my agreement? It says that I cannot go to work for a client of theirs and it says that I cannot work for someone else who provides services to them.

Thanks

1 answer  |  asked Jul 31, 2003 9:45 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

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Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Two Questions Need to be Answered

Whether your taking a job with the second company VIOLATES your agreement with the first company really depends on the precise wording of the agreement. Because I don't have a copy of that agreement in front of me, I really cannot give you an answer. But, based on your discription of the contents of the agreement, it sure does sound like the new job would violate the agreement.

However, you shouldn't stop there. You also need to ask whether the agreement is ENFORCEABLE. Again, I would need to know more in order to answer this second question, but, because of what I know of the law on non-compete agreements, particular in employment, I would have doubts that the agreement is enforceable.

Do you see the distinction? You violate the agreement if you do something which is contrary to what the agreement says. But an agreement can be unenforceable even when your actions clearly violate the agreement. If an agreement is unenforceable, your violation of the agreement becomes irrelevant.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Aug 4, 2003 10:04 AM [EST]

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