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How to break unfair non compete agreement?

Philadelphia, PA |

I had a 5 year contract with the employer. but the boss suddenly proposed a new contract even though the old one left more 2 years. I had to sign it because the employer sponsored me for getting permanent residency and I felt that if I wouldn't sign it, I might be fired.
The agreement states that 10 years following the termination, the geographical area that includes all of the State of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are off limits to me as a chiropractor in PA.
1. Is this new contract effective legally?
2. Are provisions of non compete agreemant effective legally? in the point of labor law in PA, is it legal?
3. How to break this contract(non compete agreement)?
Can I work as a chiropractor or open my clinic?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    The legal enforcibility of non-compete clauses is very fact specific. I would be happy to review and discuss your agreement in more detail if you would like a free consultation. Call or email to discuss your issue further.

    Contact me for a more detailed discussion of your issue at 215-822-7575, or by email at This answer is based on general legal principles only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the formation of a lawyer-client relationship.

  2. You have raised several issues which cannot be simply addressed in this format and your need to consult with an experienced employment law attorney. Here are some general observations. First, there may be an issue concerning your employer's sponsorship of the permanent residency if the original employment was a condition of your working in this country. As to contract terms, any contract must be viewed as a whole in order to interpret the legal ramifications. Generally speaking, if situations where the employer does not terminate employment and the employee voluntarily leaves, non-compete agreements can be enforceable if reasonable in geographic scope and the terms do not prevent you from earning a living. It appears that the geographic restraints in the new contract may very well be overly broad. My best advice here is to highly recommend that you consult with an experienced employment law attorney to review both contracts and develop a comprehensive strategy as soon as possible. Feel free to contact me to arrange for a consultation an in office consultation.

    At Abramson Employment Law we devote our practice to helping employees fight unfair practices by their employers such as discrimination based upon age, race, sex, religion and national origin, disability, sexual harassment, overtime and unpaid wage disputes. We encourage all clients to contact us by email or telephone and to visit our website Abramson Employment Law, telephone: 267-470-4742, email: As a courtesy to e-mail correspondents, Abramson Employment Law, LLC reviews all inquiries and provides correspondents with a brief courtesy reaction to a factual scenario on a complimentary basis. Please understand that this communication does not constitute a detailed legal opinion for which a client has retained the attorney.

  3. As my PA colleagues have pointed out, this is a complicated question that can only be addressed after a close review of the contract, the proposed new contract and the factual situation, any assessment of your legal rights and the validity of the contracts is impossible. I have worked on many non-competes, representing both sides of the issue. I invite you to take a look at my previous statements on non-compete issues on AVVO. If you are interested in discussing this issue, please feel free to give me a call. My firm regularly advises and represents "alternative" healthcare providers in all sorts of matters. Thanks very much and best of luck to you.

  4. You have received some good advice from my colleagues. However, some questions need answering - were you provided additional compensation of some sort as consideration for signing a new non-compete? Ten years, unless there is commercial reasons, is a very long time for a non-compete and most courts will not like that length. In addition, the entire Commonwealth of PA and all of NJ is very broad geographic limits for a chiropractor. From the few facts that you have presented, it would seem unlikely a judge would enforce that non-compete. I cannot provide specific advice for your situation since there are insufficient facts presented and I would have to review the agreement you signed. However, you should consult an attorney to review the agreement and advise you. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further (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.

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