Do I Have to Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?

non-compete clauseIt may be overwhelming the first time you are offered a position or job that comes with a non-compete agreement. And when it is put before you, you may wonder, do I have to sign a non-compete agreement? If you don’t understand what they can and cannot do, you may be extremely hesitant to sign one. That is simply because you are caught in the difficult position of being unaware of their impact and you may feel pressure to please your new employer.

Non-compete agreements are not enforceable in every state, but they are here in Texas. If the position comes with such an agreement, it is essential to know that there is more to consider than simply deciding whether you should or should not sign.

Consider Your Options and Ask Questions Before You Sign a Non-Compete

You do not have to feel rushed—regardless of what anyone tells you. You can read it, ask questions, and make your own requests. For example, the non-compete agreement you are being asked to sign is likely going to prevent you from working within a designated geographical area for an established period of time. In other words, your employment options will be limited.

You are giving up your right and ability to find a new job within your field. If the employer is getting this right to find employment in your field from you, it is okay to request something in return. It can be appropriate to ask for a higher salary to compensate you for the rights you are giving up. However, if your employer agrees to pay you accordingly, this could make it even more challenging to get out of the non-compete agreement later on. You agreed, signed, and accepted payment.

Think Long Term When You Decide if You Should Sign a Non-Compete Agreement

It would be a mistake to sign the non-compete agreement knowing it isn’t in your best interest because of your desire to get the job or promotion. That doesn’t mean you should or should not sign one, but you should ensure some of the details work out to your benefit.

What happens if you are terminated from the company? Then you are left without a job, and your options for new employment are now limited due to the nature of the non-compete agreement. Consider this: ask that the non-compete agreement only be valid if you leave voluntarily.

From your perspective, it makes you even more valuable to the company. Terminating you frees you to be employed by a competitor which will make your employer think twice before making such a decision. So, deciding to sign a non-compete agreement on your terms gives you more options in the future.

Get Help Evaluating a Non-Compete Agreement

The employment attorneys at Amsberry Law Firm have experience drafting and reviewing employment documents. If you wonder, “do I have to sign a non-compete agreement?” our attorney can review it for you. We’ll discuss the ways it may impact your future. Our employment attorneys can help you with other workplace issues, too. If you are an employee who has faced discrimination, retaliation, or a dispute regarding money owed to you by an employer, contact our team to schedule your free consultation. We pride ourselves on being respectful and empathetic—but will provide aggressive representation if your case requires it.

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