Can my employer force me to sign a noncompete after 5 years of the job? 5 Answers as of August 09, 2011

I was asked to sign a non complete after 5 years at my job. I refused to do so. I am the only part time employee. After a meeting with the general manager he said he would probably get me a waiver due to the part time employment. Once I returned to work I was told that the other person in my department could handle everything right now and I would be called in when needed. I have four young children at home and my husband and I are building a new home. There is no way that I could work less hours and supplement our income. Less hours after paying for daycare would be out of the question. Do I have and legal rights. I was told that all employees signed this. Which is NOT true. I feel that the company wanted me gone. They just bought out a competitor and have hired a lot of their old employees. Many of which the GM have worked with.

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Law Office of Tadd Dietz, PLLC
Law Office of Tadd Dietz, PLLC | Tadd Dietz
Utah courts have ruled that "(1) the covenant not to compete must be supported by consideration; (2) no bad faith may be shown in the negotiation of the contract; (3) the covenant must be necessary to protect the goodwill of the business; and (4) the covenant must be reasonable in its restrictions in terms of time and geographic area. Further, Utah courts have determined that the promise of continued employment is sufficient consideration where there is an at will employment relationship. At will employment generally refers to a position that is terminable at the will of the employer for any reason or no reason at all. Utah is an at will employment state. Legal issues surrounding covenants not to compete are fact specific, and are evaluated by the courts on a case-by-case basis. If you are seeking legal advice regarding the specific facts of your case consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/9/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Yes, your employer can.However, consult with a contracts and/or an intellectual property attorney to protect your interest before you sign the agreement. Conenants not to compete provisions in agreement are usually strictly construed by the courts in favor of you and other employees even vif you are compelled to sign cto keep your job..
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/9/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
Had you asked me before your refusal I would have told you to sign because non competes in CA are disfavored and only enforced against an owner who sells their business. Not much you can do except file for unemployment. CA is an at-will employment state. They can cut your hours, terminate you, change your job duties, lower your pay and you cannot do anything about it as long as no illegal discrimination.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
Law Office of Eli M. Kantor
Law Office of Eli M. Kantor | Eli Kantor
Covenants not to compete are void and unenforceable in California, unless you are an owner or partner.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
Cowan Law Firm
Cowan Law Firm | Jeffrey Cowan
With a handful of exceptions that likely would not apply here based on the information you have provided, covenants not to compete in California are void (or invalid) as being contrary to the State's public policy. The statute that contains this rule is Business & Professions Code Section 16600. California courts also have held that it is an unlawful business practice for a California employer to try to force its employees to sign such unlawful covenants. If you are a California employee, you should consult promptly with an experienced employment lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/8/2011
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