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Definition of "Employ" in a Non-Solicitation contract?

Erie, PA |

In the paragraph below, what does "employ" mean? Does employ imply full-time employment only? Thank you!

"Employee shall not: Employ or seek to employ any person currently employed by employer or person employed by Employer within the last six (6) months of the date of any purported hire, or otherwise directly or indirectly induce such persons to leave their employment with Employer"

Attorney Answers 5


  1. No, unless defined in the contract otherwise, it would in my opinion simpy mean "employ" which covers both full and part-time work.


  2. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.

    That being said, "employ" means any employment, including both full and part time. Employers have been quick on the trigger to enforce restrictive covenants like this over the past few years; if you are unclear as to the boundaries of your obligations, you should speak with an attorney prior to taking any actions.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/
    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    One Belmont Avenue,
    Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585
    Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
    www.ezoldlaw.com

    Answered 8 months ago. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com


  3. I agree with my PA colleagues. Generally, a term in a contract is capitalized to indicated that it is defined within the contract, usually in a definitions section. Your quote above shows the word "employ" with a lower case "e" in contrast to the words "Employer" and "Employer." I'd assume that there is no specific definition of employ in your agreement and that its scope would not be limited to full time employment.


  4. The non-compete/non-solicitation clause in which this is contained is likely to include independent contractors as part of the definition of "employee". If this is part of a contract that you signed as part of your independent contractor agreement then the intent is to include you and it is likely you will lose any argument otherwise. In addition 6 months is a very short time period for a non-compete/non-solicitation. With that said, there are many other factors that would need to be considered such as, is this prohibiting you from working in a field that you had knowledge and expertise in prior to working for this company, and other factors. There really isn't sufficient information in your facts to provide a full answer.

    The advice I have provided is generic and cannot be used or relied upon for your specific facts since there is insufficient information given by you to provide a specific answer for your situation. If you would like to contact me I would be happy to speak with you about your situation. Please feel free to call me at 215-525-1165 x101.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to provide legal advice for your specific situation.


  5. It appears that the language that you have quoted is part of a non-compete / non-solicitation agreement. My view is that the term "employ" refers to any employment and is not limited to just full-time employment. An aggressive employer seeking to enforce an agreement is likely to seek to define the term very broadly and you should not view the term as limited to just full-time employme.nt.

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