18. What happens to me if I violate the non-compete agreement by letting my employer work in the same sector? For doctors, that practically means the question: how specialized are you and how many of you are in this community? If you are one of 300 pediatricians who practice in your city, it is unlikely that the public will be harmed if you will have to stay on the bench for a year because of a non-compete clause. Your patients will be annoyed and uncomfortable, but the public still has access to many pediatricians. An example of a non-compete agreement could be a company that is one of two or three such companies in a market that offers a particular product or service. The company may ask sellers to sign a non-compete agreement because they do not want these sellers to go to a direct competitor and try to take away their customer list. In addition, the employer may demand any actual damages or losses they claim to have occurred because the worker in violation of the agreement not to compete – this could include customer loss of earnings, loss of secret employer information and similar losses. Finally, what does it mean to be “against public order”? It is such a vague and ambiguous concept, but in health care, courts generally assess the non-competition clause to determine whether enforcement is likely to harm public health. Simply put, the courts want to protect all human beings, not just the contracting parties. 22. Is there anything I can do to my employer by trying to impose a bad alliance, not to compete? As noted in the previous question, the length of time considered appropriate is generally analyzed in conjunction with the other factors. For example, if the non-competition agreement is used to protect valuable information, the appropriate duration is the length of time the information has value.
Non-competitive agreements must be proportionate in their duration and scope. The adequacy of the duration of the agreement depends on the concrete facts of the case. For example, if the out-of-competition agreement is intended to protect confidential information, the duration should not be longer than the length of time the information has value. The geographical area covered by the agreement must also be appropriate in the circumstances. Much depends on the services provided by the worker and the importance of the services to the employer`s business. In general, the courts do not prohibit the existence of a non-competition clause in order to prevent a worker from working in a geographical area where the employer does not make transactions. There is also a strong argument that a worker dismissed for refusing to sign an unreasonable contract so as not to compete may be entitled to relief of charges against the employer in violation of that public policy. The results of these public policy claims vary from state to state.
I hope you will never face the need to fight a non-compete agreement, but at least you will understand a little better the applicability of the agreement if you sign your life away.