Is 5 year non compete legal in pennsylvania?

Asked over 2 years ago - Pittsburgh, PA

actually i think alot of what he is doing is illegal I am an hourly emploee and my employer threated not to give paychecks until it was signed also he is forcing me to pay for a broken tv and is taking the money from my check, he also is starting to take money from my check for uniform drycleaning, i can clean it myself cheaper .is any of this legal I am a carpet cleaner not a salary paid corporate employee. the company is based in ohio and i transfered to pa from there, i was on health insurance until he asked my wife to lie on our taxes and when we wouldent he said by law he couldent keep my on the ohio health insurance. please help i cant afford to work for him anymore. its like he is holding me hostage.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Andrew J. Horowitz

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would need to talk to you to give you a firm answer, but given the fact that you are a carpet cleaner, I think a non-compete would not be enforceable, and especially not for five years. Basically, to enforce a non-compete, an employer needs to show that he has a reasonable business justification. I doubt that is present here because it's unlikely that you posess any trade secrets, client lists, etc. Even if he has a justification, the non-compete must be reasonable, both in time duration and in geographic reach. Five years is unlikely to be reasonable under these circumstances.

  2. Edward Clement Sweeney


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A five year non compete for a dry cleaner would very most likely not be enforced by a court. Such agreements need to be reasonable in time, place and manner. Usually, I think 6 months to a year is the limit. I have heard in some specialty businesses 2 years. 5 years is way out there on a limb. You should consult a Pittsburgh employment lawyer. Pay check deducations are illegal. The other items you complain about may present legal issues but need further development.

Related Topics

Trade secrets and small businesses

A trade secret is an idea, process, or formula that gives the owner a competitive edge, and certain laws protect them from becoming public.

Employee wages

Employee wages are set by the employer but must meet the federal or state minimum wage. Employers must withhold, report, and pay employment taxes.

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