I'm an independent contractor, Can an employment contract prevent me from gaining full time employment?

I live and Work in NH for a MA agency. Ive been filling a contract for 20months and the client wants to hire me full time. However, the contract I signed states that: if any work is performed during the term of the agreement (it has no set end date) and 12 months after its termination date it is through the "agency" and it can only be waived in writing, and after a payment of 20% of first years salary by either myself or the agency. It also states that I may terminate the contract at any time, would I still be bound by the above clause if I do so?

Andover, MA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Pamela Anne Smith

Pamela Anne Smith

Employment / Labor Attorney - Wellesley, MA
Answered

I hesitate to give an answer about the interpretation of a contract without being able to read the entire document. Contract law says that the document must be read in its entirety and enforced according to its terms. I suggest you schedule a consultation with an employment lawyer to review the contract and educate yourself about the pros/cons, and your options. Good luck.

This information should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Meghan Hayes Slack

Meghan Hayes Slack

Employment / Labor Attorney - Arlington, MA
Answered

It sounds like this is a non-compete clause. Non-compete clauses are standard in some fields and for some positions. They should be narrowly drawn to protect the employer, it's clients and their interests. It is not uncommon for employers to have overly broad non-compete clauses in contracts. Sometimes these clauses are not enforceable at all. You would need to see a local employment lawyer and have that lawyer review the contract to determine whether or not this clause would be enforceable, and if it is, how it would affect your future employment after you leave the company.

This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client... more

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