does non-compete apply if I end contract before 1st day of work?

I signed a contract with a medical practice, but I do not start working for them till the end of the year. I have since changed my mind and do not want to work for them. Does their non-compete still apply to me since: 1) I have not yet interacted with any of their patients, 2) I have not gotten any pay (official employment), 3) not all lines of medicine compete with one another. It seems logical to me, that I should still be able to work in the area, as I am not causing them financial harm. Is this true for the state Pennsylvania?

2 answers  |  asked Aug 13, 2008 1:23 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Doris Dabrowski
non-compete agreement

The complete answer depends upon the terms of the contract itself. Aside from the non-compete clause, you must consider the contract in its entirety. An employer (or prospective employer) may attempt to enforce any contract provision which you breach. I am concerned about your possible breach of an agreement to accept employment. Again, a lawyer must review the complete contract and factual circumstances to properly advise you of your rights and obligations. Doris Dabrowski, 1525 Locust St., 14th floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102,, 215-790-1115.

posted by Doris Dabrowski  |  Aug 13, 2008 2:52 PM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
It is unlikely that a noncompetition agreement can be enforced if you do not begin employment.

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, it is unlikely that a noncompetition agreement can be enforced if you do not begin employment. Noncompetition agreements require a legitimate business reason to be legally enforceable; such reasons are training that the employer provided, trade secrets the employer revealed, relationships you maintained for the employer, etc. In a case where you do not begin work for the employer, none of these legitimate business reasons can be proven. I would need to review the contract and discuss the facts of the matter with you, but I do not believe it likely that the noncompetition agreement is enforceable.

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  |  Aug 13, 2008 1:45 PM [EST]

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