changed non-compete contract. Still valid?

I signed a non-compete contract in exchange for a 4% commission to be paid for me selling a former customer after I quit my job. After 5 months they told me they could only afford 3%. I took it for 2 years and then they let me go. Is my non-compete still valid since they never changed the terms of the contract in writing? Could I recoup back commission?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 21, 2008 1:35 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
The noncompetition agreement is likely invalidated by the failure to pay the full commission owed.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, the noncompetition agreement is likely invalidated by the failure to pay the full commission owed. A noncompetition agreement is a contract; if one side fails to abide by its promise, the other side generally is not required to abide by theirs. Therefore, it is unlikely that the agreement is enforceable.

You can make a claim for the 1% unpaid commission owed you; that commission is wages, and a successful wage claim will provide you with the unpaid wages, a 25% penalty and your attorneys' fees. If you do make a claim and get paid, however, the agreement might still be enforceable. You need to decide what you want; the extra 1% or to get out of the noncompetition agreement.

There may be other reasons that the noncompetition agreement is invalid; they may or may not affect your right to the 1% of unpaid commissions.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Feb 21, 2008 3:01 PM [EST]

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