Can they enforce my Non-compete if they Fired Me?
Non-competition agreements hit fired employees particularly hard, especially when the employer fires the employee without warning or cause. Non-competes hits fired employees with a second whammy, a barrier to their best job prospects.
Unfortunately, most non-competition agreements apply to involuntarily terminated employees, and courts generally enforce them. The events that trigger the non-compete are set by the supposed agreement, which is the non-competition agreement itself. If the non-compete agreement says it applies after involuntary termination, than it does.
Employers could agree to trigger restrictions against competition only when employees voluntarily resign, but few do. Almost every non-competition agreement states that it's restrictions apply following the termination of the employment relationship, whether voluntary or involuntary.
While courts enforce non-competes after employees are fired, they might enforce them just a little differently than those involving employees who voluntarily quit. This is because most states instructs their courts to give some consideration to the burden and financial hardship on the employee, which tends to be worse when terminated by the employer.
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