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If I cash a $500 check I got for signing a non-compete agreement, does that mean I can't contest the terms?

Port Angeles, WA |

I was just fired from a job after 7 years and they handed me a 5 page non-disclosure & non-compete agreement. I had to read & sign it right then, not giving me any time to process the fact I was being fired, or to have someone else look it over on my behalf before I signed. I didn't feel that I could refuse or bargain in any way. Part of it says I can't work for any of the office's competitors in the three nearest counties, so I can't apply for another job in the field where I have been working since 1997 and licensed since 2003. When I asked about this, they said I could always apply for early Social Security benefits since I'll soon be 64. I need the $500, but would depositing the check mean I can't challenge the agreement? Or is it already too late because I signed it?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

You likely face an uphill battle since you did in fact sign. That said, you may be able to use the non deposit and/or a theory of duress to try to get out of it. I'd be happy to discuss it further with you,


Todd Wyatt


For an agreement to be binding there must be consideration. Based on the information given, it does not appear this occurred or there was mutual assent. With that being said, you will want to retain an attorney to look at the agreement to determine the validity of it. Paying a couple of dollars today may save you many headaches in the future. I would continue to seek work wherever you can, as there are not many opportunities these days. Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.


I tend to agree with Mr. Wyatt. You and your attorney should consider a strategy whereby your return the $500 and assert that you were pressured into signing an agreement that is invalid.

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