I have been with my employer for nearly 10 years. I am involved with a competitive industry but my position is one in which I have no direct client contact. I am mid-level management in operations for my firm. Recently, our new president asked for all members of the management team and sales force to sign a non-compete agreement on the pretext that it was to "update" records and to have a consitent document among all members of this team (previously, only the sales force and directors at our firm signed these agreements upon employment). No consideration (compensation, enhanced benefits, etc.) were offered in exchange for the signature. I feel that something else may be at work behind the scenes on this. Specifically, a non-compete that comes right before a "downsizing." How enforceable are these agreements if the employer attempts to restrict the ability for an employee to earn a living in an industry in which they have spent 10 years and the employer terminates an employee who otherwise would not leave the company?

1 answer  |  asked May 20, 2004 11:03 PM [EST]  |  applies to Indiana

Answers (1)

Brenda Franklin Rodeheffer

The law on non-competes in Indiana is very fact sensitive and ever-changing. The fact that you have been there a long time does not seem to matter much. Things that are important is what you do, what you brought to the company, what privileged info you have, what the restrictions are as to time and geography and scope, etc. All the facts have to be considered to have any basis to give an opinion. Sometimes people refuse to sign and the company backs off, but they could fire you for the refusal and there is no redress for such a firing (other than unemployment). It would be worth while to hire an attorney experienced in employment law to look at your individual situation.

posted by Brenda Franklin Rodeheffer  |  May 21, 2004 11:27 AM [EST]

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