11. If I have already accepted a non-participation contract, can I leave? As of January 1, 2017, non-compete clauses must apply in California under these rules: employers may be held liable for dismissal or refusal to dismiss or refuse an employee because he or she does not agree to sign a non-compete agreement, and an employer attempting to impose a non-compete clause against a former employee may be held responsible for the breach of the worker`s contractual relationship with the new employer. As noted in the previous question, the length of time considered appropriate is generally analyzed in conjunction with the other factors. For example, if the non-competition agreement is used to protect valuable information, the appropriate duration is the length of time the information has value. Non-competitive agreements are generally invalid in California, subject to narrower exceptions. First, the buyer of a company can prevent the seller of the business from being in direct competition with the company in the future. This exception applies to both owners and shareholders of a company. On the basis of these issues, the parties often contain legislation that has asked a court to apply the law of a given state in lieu of determining the physical laws of the state in force as part of a conflict of law analysis. In most cases, a court will easily accept a provision of choice of the law and apply it as the parties had intended. But this is not necessarily the case in the case of a non-competition agreement. 15. I left my old company to take a job in a new company.
The new company did not tell me that I had a non-compete agreement until I had already left my old job. Does that mean I`m stuck in this? Update: You can read an in-depth discussion about California, non-compete clauses, choice clauses and forum selection clauses on the Antitrust Attorney blog. The Lite Techno Court stated that the policy behind the law is to ensure that workers retain the right to pursue legitimate employment, not to immunize current employees who transfer their loyalty to a competitor. While workers can look for another job while they are still busy, and even prepare for competition, they cannot actively compete with their current employer. 24. I am negotiating a non-competition clause. Are there any things I should ask? This story of an attempt on the part of first-time explorers to stifle the economic prospects of newcomers is archetypally Californian (think of the gold rush).