I am on a H1B visa sponsored by my current employer with whom, I have signed Non compete agreement 4 years ago (I do not have a copy of the contracts with me) when I first joined. For the past 10 months, I have been working at a client workplace in CA and after I expressed my interest, client offered me full time and I accepted the offer. The agreement I signed with my employer states I cannot join any client or potential client within 2 years of quitting the employer. Should I be expecting any repercussions from my employer in the event that I join my client? Will an employment attorney be able to help me out if I have the template (from a co worker) and not the actual one?
A great deal more needs to be learned about your situation. However, generally, non-compete provisions in an employment agreement are not enforceable in California. However it is not that simple. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
Contact an attorney and get ready to pay a little bit of money to have the non compete clause analyzed. You will need to bring the employment contract with you to the attorney. The attorney will have take a history of how you found this job. Generally non competes are disfavored but there are costly exceptions. For example, is there a choice of law clause?
This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.
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