When you first landed an interview for a job in your chosen career field, you may have felt excited and apprehensive. You, and most other working-age individuals, understand that job searching can prove time-consuming and difficult, especially when looking for a position in a specific industry. Because of your excitement and readiness to start a new job, you may have agreed to stipulations without giving them much thought.
If your employer wanted you to sign an employment contract with a non-compete clause or a non-compete agreement on its own, you may have signed without considering the impact it could have on your future. After all, you were focused on landing the job in front of you, not thinking about more job searching in the future.
Purposes of non-compete agreements
After working at your job for some time, you may have come to realize that it did not suit your desires, and now, you want to look for a new position. However, after reading over the terms of the non-compete agreement you signed, you may find yourself having a hard time finding a job. The purpose of such an agreement is to help business owners keep company interests and information out of the hands of competitors, which they do by restricting employees or former employees from working for competitors.
Because of the restrictions in your non-compete agreement, you may realize that, according to those terms, you will have to look far beyond your current place of residence in order to work outside the geographic location covered under the contract. The duration of the agreement may span over years, which also restricts your employment opportunities. Because of these terms, you may feel unable to gain new employment.
Though you may now regret signing the non-compete agreement, you may feel better to know that the contract may not be enforceable. If the terms in regard to geographic location, duration and scope are unreasonable, you may have grounds to challenge the enforceability of the agreement. Additionally, if the company is not truly using the contracts to protect legitimate business interests, a court could also consider it invalid.
Challenging a contract
If you believe that the non-compete agreement you signed has unreasonable terms, you may want to consider your legal options. Though contract disputes can prove complex and companies do have the right to defend their terms, a successful claim on your part could help you regain future employment opportunities.