How Do I Get Around Non-Compete Agreements?

August 18, 2022    Employment Lawyers
How Do I Get Around Non-Compete Agreements?

A non-compete agreement may affect your ability to find work after you leave your current work. At times, you will find that these agreements can be so restrictive that you might not be able to get out of an unfavourable work situation.


If you ignore a non-compete agreement, you have the risk of being fired or prosecuted from your latest workplace. In such cases, you can take the help of workplace lawyers in Perth. You also need to know how to get out of a bad job situation if there is a non-compete agreement. In this blog, you will learn about ways to get out of a non-compete agreement.


Steps To Get Around A Non-Compete Agreement:


The steps that can help you to get around a non-compete agreement are:

Acquire A Copy Of The Agreement That You Signed


By closely reading the non-compete agreement you signed, you will better understand what interests the company wants to protect. You will also know what to do in asking for a release.


  1. You must ensure that you did sign the contract and that a powerful corporate representative that has the power to restrain the company also signed the contract. Without having the signature of both parties, a non-compete agreement will not bind either of the parties.
  2.  If the non-compete agreement in your HR file was not signed by you, a corporate representative or both of you, the court would not enforce it. As there is no agreement, it can provide you with more leverage in negotiations to be released from the agreement.
  3.  If the agreement was properly signed, you need to study the provisions by which you can know about the responsibilities of your former employer. If you find that none of these things changed, the agreement is not going to be enforceable.

    For instance, if you signed a non-compete agreement as a sales representative but now are a sales manager, your previous non-compete agreement cannot be imposed on you. Before opting for employment lawyers in Perth, you need to know that it can change if you sign a new agreement.

  4. To make things easier, you do not need to worry if you do not sign a new contract. Even if the previous agreement bound you as a sales representative, it cannot bind you to your new job as a sales manager.
  5. The main lookout for a court is whether there has been any change in your employment relationship. If there are changes in job roles, authorities or compensations, it might make your old agreement invalid.

    You should also ensure to read the scope of the non-compete agreement. The job that you wish to pursue might not be able to violate the non-compete agreement.


Contemplate What Your Job At The Company Required



There are non-compete agreements only because it is necessary to protect confidential information such as trade secrets or to safeguard business relations. A company wants to sign you to a non-compete agreement as they will be worried that you might pursue their clients to a new company.


But a non-compete agreement is not enforceable against you if you did not have any direct relation with clients and did not learn any trade secrets. You can be considered safe in this case.

  1. For instance, there are companies that need their employees to sign a non-compete agreement despite any role they have in the company. Suppose you were hired in a company desk job but offered an assistant position in another company. In that case, you will not have any client relationships or trade secrets that you can take to the other company.
  2. Similar to any other clause or agreement, the non-compete agreement needs to be supported by a justifiable consideration. This indicates that your employer should provide you or must have provided you with some extra benefits or compensation in return for your approval of the agreement.

    The agreement would be invalid if you were not provided with any additional benefits or were promised a bonus you never received. In this case, employment law lawyers can help you.

  3. There are some situations where a valid consideration is needed if your continued employment needs to be contingent based on you signing the non-compete clause or agreement. This can be your case if your employment was listed as an “at-will” employment, and you did not sign any contract that stated anything else.

Evaluate The Laws In Your State



Some states have tough laws passed about the legality and enforcement of non-compete agreements. It might be that your agreement was signed before the law in your state came into effect or was not updated as per the law.

You must check the website of your local legislature or look for an overview of the states. You must find out what states no longer allow for non-compete agreements despite the terms of any agreement.

  1. There may be states that can place legal limits on certain rights or light business interests that employers can look to protect via a non-compete agreement.

    For instance, a non-compete agreement may only be allowed in certain Australian states to safeguard the information of customers and contacts if a firm’s goodwill is like specific relationships with clients.

  2. Some states in Australia may permit non-compete agreements, but physicians or other similar professions are not bound to them. Some states might allow broadcasters and nurses to be exempt from them.

Arrange Your Information


You are required to outline all the points and problems so that you will be prepared to have a proper discussion regarding being released from the agreement. Before hiring workplace lawyers, if you already find your defences, you can use them in court to be able to defeat the agreement.

You can also present those points to your current employer to improve the odds. A company might already be facing a tough battle to enforce this agreement as judges don’t want to enforce these agreements as it may affect your chances of getting another job.

Opt For A Sit-Down Meeting


You need to sit down face to face with people like your manager or an HR representative who are capable enough to release you from your agreement. You might need to keep in mind the following steps:

  1. You can start your meeting by focusing on your needs. It can benefit you if you use the outlines and research you did.
  2. You must go through your defences and ensure you leave on good terms. If you want to fall back on some points, you might be able to compromise that can let you take a new job.

Work Out The Terms Of Your Release:


It might not be impossible for you to create a new agreement that can protect the interest of your company and allow you to take your new job. For this, you need to ensure the following:

  1. When you are negotiating, you need to look at the amount of time the prohibitions of the agreement are in effect, the activities that are not allowed and the geographical boundaries it covers.

    The main focus of such legal arguments is the scope of the non-compete agreement terms. A court might not allow or limit terms that are unreasonable or improper.

  2. As you have already had a new offer, limiting the times the agreement applies will not help. For instance, if the agreement does not allow you to be a part of competing activities with a new company for ten years, you might like to cut it down.
  3. But cutting it down to five years does not indicate that you are not violating the agreement after taking the new job. This is not something that you should be looking for. In specific circumstances, you might be able to use geography to be able to get a new job.

    For instance, your present employer operates in South Australia, but you are offered a job in Queensland. The non-compete agreement might not allow you to work for a competitor company anywhere in South Australia.

    But if the new company that you prefer does not extend its business to any other state, they are not competing with your present firm. In such circumstances, other than taking the help of workplace lawyers in Perth, you may be able to get your employer to settle for a new agreement that prohibits you from working with a competitor company in North Australia. If you are moving to another state, this problem should not trouble you.

You Need To Get An Agreement In Writing:


As your original non-compete agreement was in writing, any release or amendment to it needs to be in writing. You must ensure that the agreement is signed both by you and an employee of the company who can resist the company in such cases.

Contact Employment Lawyers Perth

If you feel that there are legal problems in your employment and want to come out of a non-compete agreement, you can take the help of reputed lawyers from Employment Lawyers Perth. The best lawyers can provide you with strategies or tips by which you can come out of your non-compete agreements with your current company with straining relationships between the two.

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