I have an ex-employee who breached a non-compete agreement, but looking over the contract I noticed that the signature is distinctly different than the way they signed on all other documents, as well as on their personal documents (drivers licence, ss-card). In fact, since I was not present when they signed it, I'm suspicious that they may have had someone else sign their name. I'm wondering if this going to be a problem in court.
As to your question, the contract may be called into question if the employee denies they signed the contract and claims it is not their signature.
But if you are a California employer you have a larger problem. That is because non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California with very few exceptions. They violate California Business and Professions Code, section 16600. If you are considering taking legal action against this employee, you need to seek a legal opinion first.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
Your non-compete is almost certainly non-enforceable (unless the employee was formerly a part owner.)
If it were, it would be on the employee to prove it was not his signature if the document you have was obtained and was maintained in the ordinary course of business.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Non-Competes in California are not enforceable. That should be your biggest concern if you are a California employer and your employee lives in California.
Best of luck.
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