Can my current employer restrict me from seeking future employment elsewhere?

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Can my current employer restrict me from seeking future employment elsewhere?

My contract states the during the course of the contract from 8-15-2016 through June 7th 2016 I may not, ‘seek, accept or solicit fulltime/part time employment as a day school employee or instructor at an academic institution within 100 miles for the term covered in this agreement.’ It also states that I have received and read an employee handbook and agree to abide by the terms in it. But we have not received said handbook.

Asked on August 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you knowingly and voluntarily signed this agreement, it can be legally be enforced. These contracts are known as "non-competes" and are legal if they are not overbroad in their terms. For example, such an agreement cannot run for too long a time period (more than just a few years), cannot cover too large a geographic area, etc. That having been said, such agreements are not legally enforceable in some states. To find out more about your rights, you can consult directly with a local employent law attorney or contact your state's department of labor for further information.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you signed an agreement in which you agreed to restrictions on your future employment, that agreement is legal and enforceable; employees can contractually limit their future employment options, and the courts will enforce such contracts. If you signed the  contract, the courts will also presume that you read, understood, and agreed to what you signed and hold you to it.


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