A non-compete agreement is an agreement between two parties, usually employer and employee, that the employee will not work for a competitor of an employer. These agreements often carry this restriction even after the employee no longer works for the employer, which can severely limit job opportunities for the employee if they want to move on to a new company.

If an employer is asking you to sign a non-compete, it is important to talk with an attorney familiar with California’s employment laws as soon as possible. Contact our law firm today to get more information about your rights when it comes to non-compete agreements and what you can do if an employer is trying to enforce one.

Are Non-Competes Enforceable in California?

Non competes are not enforceable in the state of California. The California Business and Profession Code outlines that non competes are not legal in the state. This means that you cannot be required to sign a non-compete when you start a job. It also means that any non-competes that have already been signed are not considered legally binding and are not enforceable.

Should I Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?

Because non-competes are not allowed in California and are not able to be enforced, there is no reason to sign one. If an employer is asking you to sign a non-compete agreement, it is important to let them know that they are not allowed within the state and that you will not sign one. You may also want to consider talking with an attorney to ensure that the rest of the contract is appropriate and valid.

What Should I Do If I’m Being Threatened Over a Non-Compete?

If you previously signed a non-compete and an employer is now threatening legal action against you for violating that agreement, an attorney can help. Some employers may not be aware that non-competes are not enforceable in California, and a reminder from your attorney can often make the whole thing go away. If a lawsuit does get filed, a Southern California business attorney can help you fight the accusations by showing that the non-compete was not a legally valid agreement and cannot be enforced through the California courts.

Business agreements and employment contracts can be complex. While you should always read and understand everything you sign before you sign it, the truth is that many people don’t until an issue arises. If and when that happens, having the advice of a knowledgeable attorney can be invaluable. If you have questions about a non-compete agreement or any other contracts related to business or employment, our law firm can help. Call our Beverly Hills office at 323-230-6200 today to get more information or schedule a consultation.