I am contracting and now the client wants me to join. There is a middleman(Body shopping) between my employer (also Body shopping) and the client company. The client company says they are not customer of my employer. Employment contract says I cannot solicit customer. Will the Employment contract still holds? Also, in this case, I am at will employee. Do I still need to serve notice period?
Let me address a GIANT misconception first.
There is absolutely NO REQUIREMENT for 'at will' employees to give two weeks' notice - or ANY notice for that matter. Giving notice is a nicety. It is a professional courtesy. It is a hold-over from the days when employers treated employees with honor and respect.
Think of it this way - if your boss is the kind of person who might fire you right after you give your notice, then DON'T give the notice. Work until you have the next thing lined up and then quit. if, however, you work for a small mom-and-pop operation and your leaving might actually hurt their business, then you should extend some professional courtesy and give them the opportunity to find a suitable replacement.
Now - the rest of your post is somewhat confusing. Your use of the term' client' is ambiguous, especially in light of the fact that you are 'contracting'. Also, I am confused because you say you have a contract but then you say that you are an 'at will' employee. You typically cannot be both.
If you mean that your employer's client now wants to hire you, then you may have a problem. One would have to read your contract to see what it actually says - not what you THINK it says and not what you THINK it means.
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Based on your question, I understand that: (1) you are currently employed by an employment agency; (2) the employment agency has placed you to work at one of its customers; (3) you have signed an employment contract that says you won't solicit customers of the employment contract; and (4) you would like to become employed directly by the customer of the employment agency. Please feel free to correct any of these details if I am misunderstanding them. In response to your question, whether the employment contract would prevent you from working directly for the customer depends on the specifics of what it says. It sounds like there might be a dispute about the definition of "customer" under your contract. Massachusetts courts sometimes enforce non-solicitation provisions in employment contracts, if they are: (1) necessary to protect a legitimate business interest; (2) reasonably limited in time and space; and (3) consistent with public policy. An employment lawyer can review the employment contractor with you to provide advice on its enforceability and your options. Good luck.
You really need to consult with an experienced employment lawyer in Massachusetts who will go over the specifics of your contract and the law with you to assist you in determining what you can and cannot do without breaching the contract.
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