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Are non-compete agreements enforceable if I have been fired?

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If you sign what’s called a non-compete, which is a restrictive covenant, during your employment or before your employment, and you’ve been terminated, there’s a good chance that that restrictive covenant is still enforceable. Whether or not it’s enforceable depends on a number of factors, one being whether your termination was wrongful. That can often be a defense to the enforcement of a restrictive covenant.

It also depends on whether the employer had what’s called a legitimate business reason for having you sign a restrictive covenant. Are you working with their confidential business information? Are you working with clients? Is the information publicly available?

This is a complicated question with a complicated answer that most definitely should be done in conjunction with a consultation with a labor and employment law lawyer. It is very risky business to assume that your non-compete is not enforceable and go work for a competitor. That’s a good way to end up getting sued and accruing lawyer’s fees.

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