What can I do regarding my employer pushing a non-solicitation upon me that I do not think is fair or reasonable?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do regarding my employer pushing a non-solicitation upon me that I do not think is fair or reasonable?

I had a meeting with a client that I knew in my last job, my last job was in a web design company and I am now in a Graphic design agency this meeting went over what graphical needs the company required and that was the main reason we went, however in this meeting the client raised the fact that I use to do the web side of things for them and could I still do so. They raised this without me or my current company bringing this up. If this client decides to leave my former employer for us under these reasons, will I get in to trouble for this? Other than that I always wanted to stay in touch with about 3 of the clients within the web company as I had met up with them and we got on well. However, is that also a problem if they also just swap to using my new companies services, I am in no way forcing them to leave I am mearly just keeping contact as we got on. What is worrying about this all is the fact that I don’t know if while I was at the web company if I signed a non-solicitation agreement, at the web company I was an apprentice not a full-time employee so I don’t know if that works in my favor at all.

Asked on February 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

"Fair or reasonable" is irrelevant to whether a non-solicitation agreement is enforceable against you. Also, unlike more general non-competiton agreements or terms, courts have no problems enforcing non-solicitation agreements or terms against employees--you have no intrinsic or inherent right to work with or for your former employer's clients/customers. So if you have signed a non-solicitaton agreement, you will be held to its plain terms and could be sued if you violate them.

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