We receive several calls a week from prospective clients asking how they can get out of the NJ non-compete agreement that they signed with their employer. We hear that they did not know what they were signing at the time and didn’t bother to read it when they started the job. However, now they are looking to leave the company or have already left and learn that they cannot work for a competitor or in the industry for 1-2 years.
There are several ways to go about trying to get out of the restrictions set forth in the non-compete agreement. First, you can try negotiating with your former employer to reduce the restrictions of the non-compete. The success of this method will depend on the employer and the information that you will take t a competitor. We have been successful in negotiating with the former employer to restrict not certain competitors and reducing the amount of time to a reasonable period.
Second, you can ask that your new employer indemnify you for any damages and/or attorneys fees resulting from any legal action brought by your former employer to enforce the non-compete agreement. Your future employer may be sceptical of this because it does not want to cover these costs and potentially expose itself to liability and costs.
Finally, you can file a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that the non-compete is invalid. This option is the most expensive because of attorneys’ fees associated with filing this type of action.
Contact our NJ non-compete lawyers for more information and to discuss your non-compete agreement.