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Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

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  • Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

    I live in Arizona and have worked with a company for almost 3 years and they now want me sign a non compete agreement. Do I have to sign this and if I don't can they fire me?

  • #2
    re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

    They normally indeed can ask you and require you to sign an agreement going forward.

    It must be reasonable and they cannot effectively prevent you from working if you leave.

    You may want to have the terms of any proposed agreement reviewed by counsel.

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    • #3
      re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

      You live in an "at will" state. This means your employer can terminat eyou at any time for any or no reason long as it does not violate law, cba or, employment contract. Thsi pretty much forces you to sign. I agree with earlier post have your Attorney look at this agreement as many non competes are poorly written and easily gotten around

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      • #4
        re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

        Unless you are a rocket/computer scientist, creating intellectual property or in a position to steal customers, a noncompete usually isn't worth a hill of beans. Most employers use them to scare their employees into thinking they can never leave (because they won't be able to work). Plus, smart employers have you sign different docs if you actually are writing software, inventing stuff, etc.

        Now, if you leave, start your own competing business and poach all their clients with a stolen customer list then, yeah, you're in a potentially bad situation. (Happens a lot in the cosmetology field.)

        But the bottom line is, you basically cannot be prevented from working in your chosen profession, provided you have not stolen anything, solicited customers from your old company's files or try to make a living with something your old employer actually owns (intellectual property, inventions, etc.). Get your own customers, and let your old company's people find you on their own. If you are good enough at what you do, that is *exactly* what will happen.

        Biggest questions from you should be: A. Duration. B. Geographical limitations.

        P.S. most of your coworkers will sign or have signed this without a second thought. Sheep.

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        • #5
          re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

          If you work in an "at will" state, you can be terminated for any or no reason, and you may also quit for any or no reason. You are never "forced" to sign anything that you do not understand completely or you do not agree with.

          As far as the Non-Compete, those don't hold up in court anyway, as they interfere with a person's liberty and livelihood. So if you are fired for not signing, you have an excellent shot at receiving unemployment.

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          • #6
            Re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

            The insurance industry has a lot of lawsuits ongoing due to non competes. In my case, they terminated my contract 2 years before my retirement. My wife started selling insurance, and they filed suit in federal court against both of us, claiming we violated the non compete. I know of at least 6 or 7 similar suits ongoing. Any one that signs a non compete needs to realize up front that large corporations always prevail in court due to their deep pockets.

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            • #7
              Re: Do I have to sign non compete agreement? If I don't can they fire me?

              You didn't detail the results of their lawsuit against your wife.

              Incorrect. Non-competes RARELY hold up in court, regardless of how big a company is. Non-competes are considered a violation of a person's constitutional rights.

              Nobody has to sign a non-compete. Nobody should either.

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