Termination letter vs Employment contract

I'm one of the programmers brought in from overseas on H1B.
My employment agreement with my H1B sponsor has a non-compete
clause that prohibits me from working with any client company
should my employment is terminated.

I was terminated this year and the termination letter states
"... best interests of the company to discontinue your current
employment arrangement... ".
Since the non-compete clause is part of the employment agreement/
arrangement, was this clause also discontinued when my H1B sponsor
discontinued my employment arrangement?

I need help because after several months of unemployment, a client
company is hiring me as a consultant.

1 answer  |  asked Sep 7, 2001 11:06 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Discontinued Agreement

Your immigration status probably has no effect on this situation.

New York courts dislike non-compete clauses, precisely because they inhibit the ability of people to earn a living. However, I generalyy advise against entering into agreements with them. My feeling is that, although you will likely win a lawsuit based on a non-compete clause, by signing an agreement with one in it, you are basically buying a lawsuit.

Lately, I have received calls and correspondence that fairly strongly suggests to me that employers in the high tech area do their most to inhibit their employees from taking jobs elsewhere. Although I have yet to see many lawsuits by employers in high tech seeking to enforce non-compete clauses, non-compete clauses seem very common in high tech industries.

Did the non-compete clause "discontine" when your employer discontinued you? I don't know. It depends on what else you agreement provided for. It depends on the breath and duration of the non-compete clause. It depends on the work you did for the employer. It depends on what the agreement says about termination. I doubt that the non-compete discontinued, but, as I have indicated, there is a good likelihood, though not a certainty, that the non-compete clause is not enforceable.

I suggest that you call me to have the agreement reviewed.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Sep 10, 2001 09:10 AM [EST]

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