Physicians and the non compete clause

I am a physician that was terminated because of fear of competition. I opened a Saturday clinic over 20 blocks away from the clinic I was employed at because I was losing patients due to the primary office location. My former employer is outraged that I did this and terminated me. My question is how can this non-compete clause be enforced when it is the patient's right to choose what physician they would prefer to see? My former employer has the feeling that since the patients started in that clinic they stay there. Also, what are the laws regarding solicitation? There is more to this story, believe me...

1 answer  |  asked Dec 8, 2002 2:29 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Unlock Non-Compete Agreements: Keys to Escape

Answers (1)

Steven V. Modica
Physicians & Non-Compete

In New York, there is no statute (i.e., law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor) that restricts competition. It is strictly a matter of contract.

New York Courts generally disfavor non-compete agreements. One of the factors that weigh AGAINST enforcement of the non-compete is if the person subject to the restriction was terminated (and did NOT leave voluntarily). Another important factor is whether there is something unique and special about the employee that was developed on the employer's time.

Other factors that affect enforceability include: (1) length of the restriction; (2) geographical scope of the restriction; (3) whether the person received something of value for the restriction (e.g., higher annual salary with the restriction), etc.

I recommend that you get an evaluation by a qualified attorney. He or she can help you assess the risk that you will be sued, the costs of defense and the odds that you will prevail.

I wish you well.

posted by Steven V. Modica  |  Dec 8, 2002 7:20 PM [EST]

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