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Query Regarding Non Competent clause in Offer Letter

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a employer of company working at a client location . My employer is not direct vendor of the client . There is a prefered vendor in between . when I joined my employer he made me to sign some terms like this :
The Employee agrees that during the period of this
agreement and for a period of twelve (12) months after the termination of this Agreement, he/ she Will NOT (1) directly or indirectly induce any Clients, End Clients ( Clients through a Vendor), Customers, Vendors, or Agents of the Company to patronize any competing professional;) etc..
I am not sure if he is right in making me sign this document as he is not a direct vendor of my client . My query is if I change my employer but works for the same client through same or other prefered vendor , can my employer sue me ??

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Noncompetition agreements are, with some narrow exceptions, unenforceable in California. If your contract says that the law of another state will apply, then you may have issues if you try to compete. So many factors are involved that it is best to cross that bridge when you get to it.


  2. You can always be sued and, if so, it would then be up to you to defend yourself. This is true whether or not non-competition clauses are enforceable as it's always "up to the judge" to decide the legality of any such provision. I agree with my colleague that, with limited exception, non-competition clauses are not enforceable in CA.

    However, few cases allege only a violation of a non-competition agreement. They also frequently allege unfair trade practices and theft of trade secrets. Neither you, nor your employer, wishes to be caught up in litigation following your employment. If I were you I would, at a minimum, consult an attorney and discuss your situation as you do not want to find yourself out of a job.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  3. The answer to your last question is yes, your employer can sue you. Will he/she prevail is a different matter.

    That being said, I agree with the other attorneys that non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are generally unenforceable in CA. That should give you a good idea of what your legal rights are.

    The bottom line is that there's no use worrying about what your employer will do or not do until it happens.


  4. I agree with what's been said with respect to anybody can sue anybody, and non-competes are generally unenforceable in California. However, that "generally" doesn't mean always, and you could be on the receiving end of a serious lawsuit and injunction filed in another state depending on how your agreement is drafted. It really does happen, it is not just a theorectical occurence. You'll need to evalaute your risks by sitting down with an employment attorney, an qucik & easy answer to a non-compete question can mislead you.

    THIS IS A GENERAL ANSWER TO A GENERAL QUESTION AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS A FULL LEGAL ANALYSIS OF ANY FACTUAL MATTER. An attorney-client relationship is not established or offered solely as a result of this answer.

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