Non compete signed under duress

I'm a consultant. I worked for a tech company that went bankrupt. We were bought by a new comapny that forced us to sign a non-compete,- if we did not sign it you were fired. We have had layoffs, no bonus and a recent 10% pay cut. There has been no training or bonuses that were promised when I started at the first company. I am working alone as a project manager at the client. Five other people from my company are doing unrelated technology work for the same client.
I want to go independent and stay at the client and they have commited to retaining my service for min 6 months. Should I be worried about the non-compete and is it binding?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 15, 2002 11:36 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Unlock Non-Compete Agreements: Keys to Escape

Answers (1)

Aaron Maduff
Non-Compete Under Duress

Your ultimate question seems to be can you do other business? In order to answer that question, an attorney would need to review the non-compete agreement and discuss with you what it is you want to do independantly. What you want to do may not violate the non-compete, or under certain conditions the non-compete agreement may be unenforceable -- for example if your services are so specialized that the non-compete would effectively prevent you from working.
With regard to the question of whether the non-compete agreement is invalid because it was signed under duress, I am afraid you are going to lose that argument. Under the law, you had the choice to leave employment with that employer instead of signing the non-compete. In other words, the law looks at it as just another conidition of employment that you agree to if you want the job.
I would like to see the agreement however and examine what it is you want to do.
Aaron Maduff

posted by Aaron Maduff  |  Jan 16, 2002 9:16 PM [EST]

Answer This Question

Sign In to Answer this Question

Related Questions with Answers

Have an Employment Law question?

Virginia Employment Lawyers

Sheri Abrams Sheri Abrams
Sheri R. Abrams PLLC
Oakton, VA
Edward Lowry Edward Lowry
MichieHamlett
Charlottesville, VA
Matthew Sutter Matthew Sutter
Sutter & Terpak, PLLC
Annandale, VA
Matthew Kaplan Matthew Kaplan
The Kaplan Law Firm
ARLINGTON, VA
Gerald Lutkenhaus Gerald Lutkenhaus
Virginia Workers Compensation & Disability Lawyer
Richmond, VA

more Virginia Employment Lawyers