non-compete clause

Do I have to agree to my employer’s new non-compete clause?

Before you sign, it’s important to consider what you’re getting in exchange—and whether what you’re being offered is worth agreeing to these new terms and conditions.

My employer wants me to sign a new contract that is much the same as the old, except for the fact that it includes a “non-compete” clause. Are these clauses enforceable? Are there guidelines for what an acceptable non-compete clause would be versus one that overreaches? And can the employer make me sign one before I claim a severance package?

A. A non-compete clause is an agreement between an employer and an employee that prevents the employee from participating in a business that competes with the employer’s. And the addition of this clause constitutes a big change to your employment contract.

First of all, you should be getting something in exchange for agreeing to this new contract. If your employer asks you to sign this without offering you a bonus, raise, promotion or some other benefit, then I suggest you ask yourself why you would agree to do this.

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