I was laid off last week. The employee agreement non compete section reads "not act directly or assist others in soliciting computer services sales from, making computer services sales to, or providing computer services to any customer whom the employee sold, attempted to sell or provided servers to during the prior 24 months immediatly proceeding termination of employee's employment with the company or any customer or prospective customer about whom the employee has obtained confidential information."
The seperation agreement has a paragraph which says " I acknowledge and confirm my obligations pursuant to the employee agreement. I agree to comply with the employee agreement in all respects and to continue to be bound by its terms."
Is the non compete still in place if I don't sign?
Non competes are interpreted and enforced under state law. For this reason, you really should consult with local counsel. Having said that, I have to assume that there is no way to enforce a no compete that the person refuses to sign.
Most employers ask employee to sign as soon as they start because how do you get someone to sign after they are laid off. If you sign now, what is the "consideration" you are getting? You need consideration for most contracts to be enforceable.
Maybe you are getting special severance benefits? They must be dangling some incentive to make you sign now?
There may be some important facts missing. Thats why I have to again stress this is probably a case where you should consult with local counsel.