Non-Compete

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Non-Compete

I live in a small city which our surrounding cities are 30 plus minutes away. My employer requires all new hires to sign a non-compete form prior to employment. The form states that you will not work for the same business within a 25 mile radius. I recently was offered my own business by a local investor, however I’m worried that the non-compete form I signed 6 years back might present an issue. Is this legal considering it is only a part-time job with no full-time opportunities, limiting my ability to grow further or to support my family without moving or driving well over 30 minutes based on the 25 mile radius?

Asked on October 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The key to enforcing or evading enforcement of an employment contract does not turn on whether it was part-time or full-time employment.... it turns on the wording and the consideration given.  It's not enough for the employer to say "hey, I'll give you a job if you agree not to compete against me later."  The employer has to provide you with an additional "something" in exchange for the agreement not to compete.  Agreements that don't have extra consideration violate the at-will employment policies in Texas.  To know for sure if the agreement is valid, you need to have it reviewed by an employment law attorney.  Once they see the document, they can tell you if the consideration (x for y exchange) is sufficient to make it a valid agreement. 


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