Most employees are required to sign a non-compete agreement before they start a new job. This helps the employer to ensure that their business is protected in the event of an employee leaving the company and moving on.
In the majority of circumstances, non-compete agreements are reasonable and cause no major complications for the future career of the employee. However, some employers draft non-compete agreements that create problems for employees after they leave. If you are worried about breaching a non-compete agreement that you signed in a previous employment, you may be able to show that it is not valid.
The definition of a valid non-compete agreement
Employers cannot create a non-compete agreement in any way that they want. They must follow the rules regarding what is considered to be a reasonable and valid non-compete agreement.
First, the agreement should be written with the intent to protect legitimate business interests. The agreement cannot simply create limitations with no valid reason. Secondly, it should be supported by consideration, meaning that the employee that is signing the agreement should have something to gain from doing so. Finally, the agreement should be reasonable. If unnecessary provisions are put in place that will negatively affect the employee's future career, it can be considered invalid.
If you believe that the non-compete agreement that you signed is not valid, you should consider contesting its validity so that you can move forward with your career. If you have been accused of breaching the contract, it is important that you take swift action to defend yourself.