I signed an Independent Contractor Agreement in 2013 which included a non-compete clause for 1 year upon termination of contract. It is with a Travel Agency located in PA. I live & work in NY. Don't I have a right to make a living in the field I am competent in? They are stating that I cannot do ANY business competing with their travel agency.
If the covenant not to compete is not reasonable in scope and duration it will not be enforceable. If this is a retail kind of travel agent, it would not be reasonable to argue that you cannot be a retail travel agent in NY.
non compete provisions are narrowly construed and must be structured to balance an employer's rights with the right of the employee to earn a living. First, the wording of the non compete would have to be reviewed by an attorney. Then, the actual facts of your current employment would have to be compared to the non compete and the realities of any competitive overlap.
This response is for general information purposes only, should not be relied upon as a final statement of the law applicable to your situation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
As already noted, these agreements are viewed by the law strictly. The standard is based on what is reasonable under all the circumstances.
If your geographical location does not reasonably compete with the Pennsylvania travel agency then that provision probably is unenforceable. If your geographical location does compete, then you would look at other factors like whether your clientele overlaps, the duration of the prohibition, and other such factors.
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