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Do Non-Compete Agreements Hold Up?

When you first signed your contract of employment with your employer, you may not have felt that the non-compete clause you were asked to sign was of any importance. Fast-forward a few years and you are now leaving your place of employment. You have got big plans to start your own business, take on your own clients or even work for a competitor of your previous employer. Now that your circumstances have changed, you are a bit worried that the non-compete clause in your previous employment contract will be held against you.

If this scenario sounds like what you are experiencing, you are likely wondering, do non-compete agreements hold up? Though every circumstance is different, in many cases the terms of a non-compete clause are deemed to be too restrictive and thus, non-enforceable. If you are looking to partake in an action that would go against your non-compete agreement, it may be a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer before acting.

If you are not yet ready to contact an employment lawyer but would like a deeper understanding of the validity of non-compete agreements, keep reading. We are here to help you understand your rights as an employee.

How Can I Know If Mine Is Enforceable?

When you sign a non-compete agreement it is probably best to assume it is valid. As with anything you agree to, you should consider that your choice to sign it means you will honour the agreement. While keeping that in mind, there are also times when you should consider challenging the agreement. One of the mistakes that many employers make is asking their employees to sign non-compete agreements that limit the employee’s ability to conduct business too much. Sometimes this looks like a geographical service area that is too large or it could be another unreasonable request that would make it difficult for the employee to earn a living. In these cases, the non-compete agreement may be unenforceable.

The best way to know for certain whether the terms of your non-compete agreement are enforceable or not is to contact an employment lawyer. A qualified employment lawyer will be able to guide you in understanding what your non-compete agreement means, what is enforceable and also help you in taking the next steps if your agreement is too restrictive. Though it may be best to assume that the terms you agreed to are valid, you should not settle and follow a non-compete agreement that is not fair to you. Always consult with an employment lawyer when you have concerns about the terms of your agreement.

What Can I Do If It Is Enforceable?

If your non-compete agreement is valid and has been proven to be so in court, your best option is to wait out the terms of the agreement. It can be frustrating to face limitations from a previous employer after you have moved on from that place of employment. Breaching a non-compete clause that is valid could result in consequences if the employer chooses to uphold its agreement.

Should I Sign Non-Compete Agreements?

It is impossible to predict the future, and although you may have had every intention of following the terms of your non-compete agreement at the time of signing, things can change. Employers are allowed to ask you to sign a non-compete agreement as part of your employment contract as they are attempting to safeguard their own revenue. It is your choice whether or not you accept the terms of an employment contract. If you have concerns about your proposed employment contract, you may wish to negotiate the terms. If you desire assistance in negotiating the terms of your employment contract you may wish to contact an employment lawyer.

What Should I Look for In an Employment Lawyer?

Choosing the right employment lawyer is your best bet for protecting your rights as an employee. With so many options to choose from it can be difficult to know who you should choose to support you in your dispute with your employer. Always look for an employment lawyer who has a proven track record in dealing with the issue you are looking for assistance with.

Experienced non-compete lawyers such as the experts at Soni Law Firm, can help you make sense of your concerns regarding non-compete clauses. They are ready to help you advocate for your rights as an employee and ensure that you get what you deserve at all stages of employment. If you have any concerns about your non-compete agreement either at the time of signing your agreement or after your employment has ended, do not hesitate in reaching out to the employment lawyers at Soni Law Firm.

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About Post Author


Rahul founded Soni Law Firm, a boutique employment, labour, and human rights law firm, with the goal of taking his Downtown Toronto litigation experience and making it accessible to Ontario’s Main Street employees and employers.