I have signed a non-compete agreement with an employer in State of Washington but work in California. Can he file a case in WA?

Asked over 1 year ago - Chico, CA

The job and I are in CA. This agreement was signed remotely from CA.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. Washington law may substantially differ from California law on this subject, and if it does, the company could bring an action in Washington against you for breach of the non-compete agreement even though California considers such agreements to be unenforceable. It is truly a strange and unfair situation, but it is the reality for employees in California who work with companies from other states.

    You could beat the company to the courthouse to get a finding that the provision is unenforceable, and that would preclude another state from ruling otherwise. However, that means you would have to file litigation here first - an expensive and aggressive move.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  2. Linh Thiet Nguyen

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Does the agreement state whether the parties agree that it will be interpreted under the laws of Washington or California?

    Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen 916.509.7200 Disclaimer: This reply is not intended to be and does not constitute... more
  3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nothing prevents the employer from filing a lawsuit against you in the State of Washington. Should that actually happen, you would need to hire an attorney in Washington to file the appropriate motion(s) to dismiss or transfer the case to California, or at the very least, have the Washington court apply California law regarding the non-competition agreement.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more

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