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Non-Compete Validity

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  • Non-Compete Validity

    A few months ago I entered into a contract with an IT contracting firm in California to work for their client in New Jersey. Their "client" is actually working as a contractor/vendor for a large financial firm, and the "client" uses several sub-contracting companies such as the one I'm W2'd with to fill local site needs.
    I work with several persons who are directly employed by the "client". One other person on the job is actually hired like me, but through a different consulting firm than the one I'm with.
    My contract has a non-compete clause which states that I'm not permitted to work for the "client" for 120 days after the contract ends.
    I am not permitted also to discuss my 'employee' status with anyone, or what my pay rate is, but my co-worker mentioned to me in passing that he is getting a rate from his firm that is over $10/hr more than mine is paying me for the same "client".
    I also found out that I should have been getting expenses paid each week, but my firm says they had no idea (which I doubt). The "client's" project manager says it was in his budget for me, so he can't see why they didn't know.
    The contract is an "at-will" contract, and does NOT have an end date declared on it. The rate I am receiving is stated in the contract.
    I would like to ask for a better hourly rate, as I believe that my firm is taking "more than their share" of what is budgeted by the client company. I can't prove that, but if I told you the "client" company name, I think anyone could guess as to what the numbers might be.
    A couple of things:
    I understand that the firm I work for has an office in California, a state which does not like non-compete clauses. New Jersey has its own laws, but could they enforce the non-compete here?
    Since it is an at-will contract, if I were to quit is the contract's non-compete clause still enforced?
    I feel I'm being shafted (and yes, I realize I knew the pay rate when I signed the contract) here. Do I have any way out? I know that the "client" doesn't really care who I actually work for, but they can't/won't hire me directly (as in a buy-out). I am certain that this other person's firm would represent me and would be willing to pay me the higher rate gladly.
    Am I screwed?? Is a 160 day non-compete clause excessive in this case? Do I have any rights at all?

  • #2
    Re: Non-Compete Validity

    Those are very easy to challenge and lawyers could almost certainly void that under these circumstances. The firm cannot mislead you or hide material facts etc. And their share has to be fair and reasonable etc.

    You may also email the lawyers at World Law Direct at [email protected] and reference [nj non-compete]. WLD lawyers will help outline a strategy for you to deal with this. The post you made is also on file with WLD staff.

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