If I cash a $500 check I got for signing a non-compete agreement, does that mean I can't contest the terms?

Asked over 1 year ago - Port Angeles, WA

I was just fired from a job after 7 years and they handed me a 5 page non-disclosure & non-compete agreement. I had to read & sign it right then, not giving me any time to process the fact I was being fired, or to have someone else look it over on my behalf before I signed. I didn't feel that I could refuse or bargain in any way. Part of it says I can't work for any of the office's competitors in the three nearest counties, so I can't apply for another job in the field where I have been working since 1997 and licensed since 2003. When I asked about this, they said I could always apply for early Social Security benefits since I'll soon be 64. I need the $500, but would depositing the check mean I can't challenge the agreement? Or is it already too late because I signed it?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Todd W Wyatt

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . You likely face an uphill battle since you did in fact sign. That said, you may be able to use the non deposit and/or a theory of duress to try to get out of it. I'd be happy to discuss it further with you,

    Regards,

    Todd Wyatt
    todd@carsonnoel.com

  2. Alexander J. Higgins

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I tend to agree with Mr. Wyatt. You and your attorney should consider a strategy whereby your return the $500 and assert that you were pressured into signing an agreement that is invalid.
    -Alex

  3. Jeffery Scott Whalley

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . For an agreement to be binding there must be consideration. Based on the information given, it does not appear this occurred or there was mutual assent. With that being said, you will want to retain an attorney to look at the agreement to determine the validity of it. Paying a couple of dollars today may save you many headaches in the future. I would continue to seek work wherever you can, as there are not many opportunities these days.

    www.WHALLEY-LAW.com... more

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