Will my non-compete hold even though my position was reduced to part time

My position was recently reduced to part time as needed. I have a non-compete with this company and a portion of it states: "For a period of 1 year after termination of employment for any reason whatsoever, Employee shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit business from or perform services for any current, former or prospective customers of the Company with whom Employee had any business-related contact during employment." I am interested in being an independent consultant after having a former client ask me to do work directly for her. Since my previous employer basically laid me off (I've worked about 30 hours total over the last 4 months and have no benefits any more) will the agreement still hold up in court if I do work for this client of my former employer?

2 answers  |  asked Apr 14, 2011 1:23 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (2)

Archibald Thomas
Unless your agreement specifically provided that it is not applicable if your hours are reduced, it is not likely that this would have any bearing on the enforcability of the agreement. Further, assuming you were an at will employee with no promise of continued full time employment, it may also be unlikely that the reduction of hours would be considered a breach of your employment agreement that could successfully be asserted as a defense to any action by the employer to enforce the non-soliciation agreement. However, in order to receive accurate legal advice regarding your specific situation you should have the agreement reviewed by an attorney so that the imporatant facts and circumstances can be reviewed in determining your rights and obligations.

posted by Archibald Thomas  |  Apr 14, 2011 1:41 PM [EST]
William Carnes
If the non-compete covenant is otherwise enforceable, a mere reduction in hours may not make it unenforceable. However, if the reduction amounts to a material breach of the employment agreement, this could effect the restriction. You should consider consulting with an attorney who can get more facts and research as needed to render a competent legal opinion. There are not enough facts given to do so.

posted by William Carnes  |  Apr 14, 2011 1:29 PM [EST]

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