NJ Non-Compete Agreements: Can My Employer Make Me Sign a Non-Compete Years After I Started the Job?

By Thomas McKinney

Yes.  While most people sign an employment agreement with a non-compete provision at the start of their jobs, an employer can require you to sign a non-compete at any time — even years later.  The reasoning comes from basic contract law which requires “valuable consideration” (receiving a benefit in exchange for obligations) for any contract.  In employment law, continued employment is the valuable consideration an employee receives when asked to sign a non-compete months or years after starting the job.  If you refuse to sign, you can be fired.  This bait-and-switch is unfair, but for now it is the law.  Of course, an employee has other avenues to challenge an unfair non-compete such as whether it is too broad in terms of time or geography or whether it deprives you of the ability to earn a living.

April 20, 2011 – Castronovo & McKinney, LLC – Paul Castronovo

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.