Can an employer force you to sign a non-compete when you have been at the company for more than 20 yrs?

Asked over 1 year ago - Madison Heights, MI

Company is revising their handbook that is over 10 years old. In it, they are requiring all employees sign a non-compete. We have never had this before. I do not want to sign it. What can I do if I am fired for this? I am at at-will employee, so I am sure they will try to come up with another reason to fire me. Suggestions.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Travis I. Dafoe

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . I have added two links to this answer which talk about at-will employment and non-compete agreements. First, you

    Attorney's answer to this question is given for informational purposes only. Every factual situation is different... more
  2. Jason Matthew Shinn

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I'm a Michigan licensed attorney. Since 2001, I've focused on employment law issues, including working with employers and employees to address noncompete issues.

    I would certainly encourage you to check out the links provided by Mr. Dafoe as they are good resources. Additionally and going back to your question, your employer can't "force" you to sign a noncompete agreement. But your employer can condition your continued employment upon you signing a noncompete agreement, even if you have worked for the employer for a substantial amount of time. While for most employees such a situation really is not a fair choice, Michigan courts have found that continued employment without anything more is sufficient consideration to support a noncompete agreement. You may have potential defenses for why the noncompete agreement is not ultimately enforceable, those issues should be addressed with competent legal counsel, which I highly recommend before signing any agreement that may ultimately restrict or limit your future employment options. For information about enforceability issues, see the link I've provided.

    Please go to www.shinnlegal.com for more information about my professional experience. But in sum, I'm licensed to... more
  3. James M. Osak

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Talk to an attorney BEFORE you sign ANYTHING!!!

    THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL... more

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