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Naoko Inoue Shatz

Naoko Shatz’s Answers

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  • Employer requesting employees sign a non compete agreement, under WA law is this required

    After 30 years with my company in a managemnet position, my company wants everyone to sign a non-compete. I only have a few more years left before retirement and wanted to possible do some part time work in the business after I leave. How can I n...

    Naoko’s Answer

    In California and Texas, covenants not to compete are generally unenforceable, while non-compete agreements are generally enforceable in Washington State. What makes a non-compete agreement unenforceable in Washington State is when there is no independent consideration given at the time the agreement is reached. In Labriola vs. Pollard Inc., Labriola signed a non-compete agreement when he was hired by Pollard in 1997, in which Pollard restricted Labriola from competing for certain customers for three years after his employment with Pollard ended. Subsequently, Pollard provided Labtiola another non-compete agreement in 2002, which was more restrictive requiring him to agree not to accept employment with any competitor for three years within 75 miles of Pollard`s business in Tacoma. In November 2004, the Washington State Supreme Court concluded that the 2002 non-compete agreement in this case lacked independent consideration and was not enforceable. If your employer gives you some consideration such as an agreement to promote you, a wage increase, a bonus, training or a fixed term of employment, it is likely that the non-compete agreement is enforceable in Washington State.

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