Is my non-compete binding

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Is my non-compete binding

I no longer work for an employer who I signed a non-compete with. The non-compete agreement says I cannot sell a competitor’s product for 3 years anywhere in the united states. Their company is based in AL and my sales territory was MI where I live, OH, IN, IL, and WI. I left the company because they were not paying commission as they said they would when I was hired. A competitor to my previous employer is now asking me to work for them, however I am worried about my previous employer coming after me and forcing me to pay court costs and lawyer fees. I need help to determine if I am bound by the non-compete and if I can work with the new employer.

Asked on October 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the employer breached their obligations, such as by not paying you what they were supposed to, that would likely invalidate the non-compete: you signed the non-compete in exchange for employent (or continued employment, if you were already working there), which is employment at an agreed or understood level of compensation: if you are not paid as agreed, they did not provide you what they were supposed to, and that could invalidate the agreement. This doesn't mean they might not try to sue you to enforce the agreement, but their breach should provide you a defense against its enforcement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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