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Is a Non-compete agreement enforceable across state lines?

Sandpoint, ID |

I signed a slap-stick NCA with a company in Spokane, Washington. The NCA is for 5 years and attempts to encompass the the entire United States. Isn't this outside the scope of the law? Furthermore, an agent of the company did not sign it and it's signature was not witnessed. Is this contract enforceable across state lines 60 miles away?

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Attorney answers 2


The time and geographic scope of this covenant exceed any that I have ever seen enforced, so it is likely not enforceable. But what is the nature of the work? What special skills do you have that might justify that scope? It is easy to say, Well, that is probably not enforceable, but that is quite different from saying, Just go ahead and ignore it. If valid the covenant is generally enforceable wherever you were working; certainly across state lines, We had an exception is in California which generally does not enforce post employment covenants. A New York company had an employee sign such a covenant. When the employee moved to California, the company found they could not enforce the covenant.
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(Bryant) Keith Martin


1. Yes, NCAs are enforceable across state lines.
2. Yes, NCAs for 5 years and encompassing the entire US are outside the scope of the law.
3. No, the signature issue probably isn't important.
4. Yes, the NCA is enforceable across state lines 60 miles away if it is reasonable and limited. This depends upon the type of work that you do, the position that you were in, the drafting of the NCA, etc.

NCAs are very tricky. You should use caution.

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