/ Asked by Veronica
I worked at a large bank for about 61/2 years before taking a job offer at a privately owned financial firm. While the move from a large company to a small company has had its perks i.e. flexibility, it also has major draw backs. Being that it is a small company there is little to no room for growth. I may have made a big mistake when I took this position and signed a non-compete. When I approached my employer about salary and other "promises", he brought up the non-compete and told me that I basically couldn't go anywhere unless he "signed-off". I have read that non-competes are not really enforceable by law. How true it that assumption? Would it be best to have an attorney look over the non-compete? I have also been looking into positions out-of-state. Would the non-compete apply if I relocated? Overall, how should I approach this situation?
Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, August 11, 2014
I would encourage you to have an attorney review the non-compete. Many of them do not stand up in court and each state is different. The non-compete should define specifically what territories you can't work in, time line, etc. If it's vague, it most likely won't stand up in court but have an attorney get you that opinion.
Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on Monday, August 11, 2014
I would encourage you to review the non compete with an attorney.  Or the other option you have is when you interview with a company share the non-compete with the firm you are interviewing with. The company can review the non compete with the legal team to determine is there is any issues with you working with the company.  Either option should provide you with the information you would need to make an informed decision. 

Good luck! 
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, August 22, 2014
Yes, most definitely have an attorney review the non-compete.  Whether it is enforceable or not depends on how it is written.  Ask the attorney if they see any language in the agreement that could potentially make it unenforceable based on the type of job you wish to pursue.  A majority of non-competes that are challenged in court, come out on the side of the employee, but there are no guarantees.  Most disturbing is the tone that your current employer has taken with you and things that they have not lived up to.  I would be sure to make this point to the attorney with which you have this discussion. 
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