Negotiate those non-competes before you start the job

November 19, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A model just learned the hard way that violating a non-compete agreement is not pretty.

A Belarusian beauty who has modeled for Escada and Emporio Armani decided she didn't like her current modeling agency and thought she could do better elsewhere. 

Pft — if you like that tall bombshell look. 

A new agency — and every guy on the planet — did. But when she went to work for a new agency, the old agency sued her for a violation of the non-compete agreement she'd signed before she started work. 

Can an employer actually force you to sign one of those, and can they really be used to stop you from working elsewhere? 


State laws differ, but in general, other than in California, an employer can make it a requirement of employment that you sign a non-compete in order to work for the company that says if you leave for any reason you can't go work for a competitor. 

So, what should you do? Negotiate before you start. Ask to limit it to a short time or only to certain clients or certain competitors. Remember that your best time to negotiate is when they want you for the job, not when you want to catwalk away.