Which non-compete should I honor?

I signed a non-compete agreement five years ago which stated I would not compete against the company for 2 years. Within the past three years I was asked on an annual basis to sign a personnel manual that includes an additional non-compete agreement in it. The terms and conditions are different in each. The first is for two years and the second is for one. I pointed this fact out to my employer multiple times and asked that he void one. They did not and I have since resigned and work for a competitor. Which non-compete agreement should I honor?

1 answer  |  asked Mar 12, 2008 9:40 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

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Answers (1)

Neil Rubin
Ohio_Which non-compete is the one for you.

Dear Kevin,

I have written this previously and I am writing it again, "non-compete agreements are the hobgoblins of little minds." (See previous posting).

Having said that, employers have been increasingly willing to enforce them through the courts so you need to be very careful.

The agreement needs to be "reasonable". Unfortunately, no one really knows what that means until a judge gives her/his opinion.

On the face of the facts you have presented, this appears to be a goofy situation but one which can not be adequately answered until an attorney with non-compete experience can read and analyze all the iterations of the agreements. (It is possible that the last one signed supersedes the rest.)

Sorry I could not be of greater help, but you really need an attorney to look at these things and give you an informed opinion.

Good luck.

This posting is not meant to: 1) contain my signature; 2) contain legal advice; 3) create an attorney/client relationship; or 4) guarantee confidentiality.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Mar 13, 2008 09:49 AM [EST]

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