18. What can happen to me if I breach the non-compete obligation by letting my employer work in the same industry? Probably. Your employer can also claim “lump sum damages” if these are provided for in the non-compete obligation. Lump sum compensation is a fixed amount that both the employer and the employee agree to as damages if the employee violates the obligation not to participate in contests. However, not all lump sum damages are legally enforceable. Again, it depends on the facts of each case and the law of each state. The best thing to do would be not to have a non-competition clause at all. Otherwise, you should try to limit it as much as possible in terms of geographical scope and duration. Limit it tightly to the area where the employer really cares about you – not the entire industry or industry. For example, you might wonder that the limitation to the clothing retail trade is to work in a clothing store, unlike retail in general, which would cover a very wide range of possible jobs that really have nothing to do with it. The aim is to limit the agreement to what is necessary to protect the employer.
You should also consider applying for severance pay in the event of involuntary dismissal. In a New York case against sandwich chain Jimmy Johns, the court ruled that the company`s non-compete clause, which prevents employees from working in a similar industry that has primarily worked with sandwiches for two years, was invalid. In response to this case, there is currently legislation that would prohibit the use of non-compete clauses for employees earning less than $15 per hour ($31,200 per year) or the applicable minimum wage in the employee`s community. Keep stopping to determine the status of this law. Legally, no, but it may give you an indication that the employer does not see the cost and risk of trying to enforce the agreement as valid. It may also be that the employer has decided that the agreement is likely to be unenforceable anyway. Unfortunately, this is not a guarantee that the employer will not try to apply it in your case. Before you consciously decide to breach a non-compete obligation to which you are subject, contact a lawyer who can review the agreement with you and help you evaluate an appropriate action plan. There is also a strong argument that an employee dismissed for refusing to sign an unreasonable non-compete obligation could have a right against the employer for dismissal in violation of this public policy of the state. The results of such “public policy” claims vary from state to state. .