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Can an Oregon employer fire an existing employee for not signing a non-compete document?

Eugene, OR |

I realize that Oregon is an at-will employer state but can a firm legally fire an existing employee of nearly 10 years for not signing a non-compete document. A document that no other employee in the firm had been asked to sign?

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Attorney answers 2


Yes. As you say, Oregon is an at-will employment state. An employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it's not for membership in a protected class.

That said, you can still apply for unemployment pay. Your employer would bear the burden of arguing, and proving, that you were not entitled for it. You should consult with an attorney in private if this is an issue.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:


It may be worth a few dollars to discuss this issue with an attorney. Noncompetition agreements are covered by ORS 653.295 which limits their enforceability. Some of the provisions of that statute may make any agreement you sign unenforceable. So it may be irrelevant whether you sign the agreement. For instance if you are not being asked to sign the agreement at a time you are advancing in your job, it may not ben enforceable.

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