Can an employment contract stipulate that you must remain in the job for 3 years?

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Can an employment contract stipulate that you must remain in the job for 3 years?

The job is in the field of neuro-monitoring during brain and spinal surgeries. I believe that the company’s concern is non-compete related since the field is very competitive. There is great demand for neuro-monitoring professionals who are trained in the field, and often, their professionals leave for groups which will pay higher salaries.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry.  You are in Texas and not Maryland.  Texas is also an "at will" state but their laws as to employment contracts are very specific.  Even an employee with a contract can be considered to be an "at will" employee unless the employer states specifically in the contract that they will only fire you for specific reasons (and they state the reasons).  Again, seek legal consultation before you sign anything.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A contract, in its basic terms, is something that is agreed to by two parties.  If you agree to the terms in the contract and sign it then yes, it is valid.  Generally, Maryland is what is known as an "at will" employment state, meaning that employment can be terminated by either party at any time.  That can be altered by an employment contract.  Non-compete agreements are different and the ability for them to be upheld varies from state to state and depends on how restrictive they are (they can not be "unreasonable").  Does the contract have a non-compete in it or are you stating that they are trying to overcome the "unreasonableness" issue by extending the contract term?  Because a one year contract with  a 2 year non-compete might not be reasonable.  Seek help from an employment attorney before you sign anything.  Good luck. 


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