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Can my employer require me to sign a non-compete?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Employment Law for Employees |

The job market is always fluctuating in New York and people often change jobs as they move through their careers. When an employee leaves a company, the employer may ask the employee to sign a non-compete agreement. This is a type of contract that prohibits the employee from working at a competing business for a certain time period after leaving their current position.

Are non-compete agreements legal?

It is legal to ask an employee to sign a non-compete but only under certain circumstances. First, the non-compete must be necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the employer. Second, the non-compete cannot cause the employee to experience an undue hardship. Third, the non-compete cannot harm the public as a whole. Fourth, the non-compete must be reasonable both time-wise and geographically.

Can my employer require employees to sign a non-compete?

Employers are allowed to require employees to sign non-competes either when they are hired or when they leave the company. However, if the employee is told that they must sign in order to be employed at the company, they may unintentionally sign a non-compete that would ultimately be unenforceable. Remember, in the end a non-compete is a contract, so if the terms are unacceptable to you, you can try to negotiate better terms.

Non-competes can be tricky. Employees do not want to be overburdened and employers do not want competitors to infringe on their business interests. Ultimately, you can always seek legal advice before signing any employment contracts.