Can my current employer stop me from working for a competitor that is closer to my home ?
3 attorney answers
The facts are not quite clear. If you are currently employed and want to quit to work for a competitor, it is likely that your employer cannot prevent you from doing so absent a valid noncompete agreement that you signed. Most noncompete agreements/clauses in Calif. are not upheld unless your matter fits into one of the few exceptions. If you plant to continue working for your current employer and want to work for a competitor at the same time, your employer can forbid you from working a 2nd job while still employed by that employer. You should retain the legal services of an employment law attorney for a phone consultation, review of any pertinent agreement, documents, etc. for a reasonable fee.
Generally, non-compete agreements are unenforceable in California pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 16600. There are exceptions to that general rule, so it would be wise for you to seek specific, confidential advice about this.
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.
If you signed an enforceable non-compete agreement and/or you will be using trade secrets when working for a competitor, you could face real problems.
You need a confidential offline consultation with an employment lawyer, who can review your contracts as well as your factual situation to give you a more specific answer.