Wisconsin non-compete

I signed a non-compete agreement when I started with company "x" in 2000. Company "y" bought company "x" effective on July 1, 2005. In order to stay employed with company "y", I had to sign a new non-compete agreement. It was signed on June 28, 2005. There is no geographical limitation stated on this agreement. There is not even a mention of geographics at all. Then in June of 2006, I was let go from this company in your typical "downsizing" effort to reduce labor costs. I was given a standard severance package as long as I signed another agreement. This agreement was pretty standard on the confidentiality stuff but does not have specific language about the 2-year wait for being employed by a direct competitor. I have been working for a non-competitive company for almost a year. I now have an offer pending from a competitive company for a lot more money. My questions are: Are any of the agreements valid and if so which one? What is the worse case scenario for me if I accept this job? How has the state of WI ruled on non-compete agreements in the past? Should I go to company "y" with my findings and ask to be released of these agreements?

1 answer  |  asked May 3, 2007 10:16 AM [EST]  |  applies to Wisconsin

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Answers (1)

Janet L. Heins
It depends

The answers to your questions depend entirely on the language of your agreements. You should take them to an attorney and pay to have them reviewed. Non-compete law in Wisconsin has gotten increasingly complicated in recent years. I had a big victory overturning such an agreement in the Door County area last year, so I'd be happy to review it for you. Regardless, you need to know all of your rights fast.

posted by Janet L. Heins  |  May 3, 2007 10:42 AM [EST]

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