What constitutes the violation of a non-compete agreement?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What constitutes the violation of a non-compete agreement?

I work as an IT Engineer in a small consulting office that provides software and professional services. As a condition of my employment I had to sign an agreement where I will not go work for any customer unless 1 year has passed. I am contemplating becoming an independent contractor through a staffing agency. A customer of ours uses this staffing agency for their IT needs. There is a possibility that if I joined this agency as a contractor I may be working for that customer. If I leave my current employer to become a contractor for this staffing agency that staffs positions for one of my current employer’s customers, does that violate the employment agreement I signed?

Asked on September 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you work for that customer, whether as part of a staffing agency or as an employee for another company or otherwise, that would be a violation of the non-competition agreement you describe you would be working for a customer of your current employer. Non-competititon agreements may restrict somone from competition whether they directly compete have their own business, are a contractor for another business, or are an employee of another business it doesn't matter whether they themselves have or procur the client or are assigned to work for them. Any competition may be legally barred, so what you describe would appear to be a violation of the non-competition agreement.

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