When you leave a job, you probably hope to continue working in the same field. After all, the industry where you currently work is where you may have both your education and job experience.
Unfortunately, if your employer required a non-compete agreement as part of your employment contract, that agreement could limit your job prospects. In some cases, you might not be able to work in the same field at all or only if you leave the state.
Can you fight back against a non-compete agreement if your employer tries to enforce it when you move on to a better job elsewhere?
Do the terms of the agreement infringe on your right to support yourself?
Generally speaking, Wisconsin courts do allow employers to require a restrictive covenant for employment and to enforce it after an employee leaves the company. However, the terms of the non-compete agreement must be reasonable and fair for the employee. There should be a specific time frame for its ending and (possibly) specific geographic limitations.
Beyond that, the employer also has to be able to show that enforcement is necessary to protect their business. If you did not have access to proprietary information or otherwise pose no risk to the business’s continued operations, you may be able to ask the courts to set aside the agreement. The same is true of an agreement whose terms will prevent you from any kind of gainful employment.
When facing a challenging situation with a former employer, seek assistance
Challenging an employment contract is a difficult process, so getting help early can increase your chances of successfully moving on with your life and your career. An experienced advocate can help you better understand your options.