Can you really enforce a non-compete agreement?

When you signed on for your job, you likely signed a hefty stack of paperwork as well. Do you remember signing something called a non-compete agreement? It's a fairly standard doc which limits your ability to strike out on your own in your employer's line of business, and also may limit your ability to switch jobs and work for a competitor. A California court has ruled that Non-Compete agreements may not be so universally enforceable.

According to The Labor Law and Employment blog, "The court threw out the clause in the contract that required a penalty to be paid in the event that ultimate client hired any of consulting company's employees. It held that such a clause was simply a non-compete clause dressed up differently. That is, it does not matter how a non-compete clause is structured. The courts will look at the end result, and if it looks like a non-compete, it will be treated as a non-compete."

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