Here is some good news to report! A Chesapeake, Virginia Judge has refused to enforce a non-compete clause in an employment contract. Theodore Wood has been in the pavement-marking business for eight years. Spivey Pavement Markings Inc. sued Wood and his current employer, Mid-Atlantic Pavement Markings LLC, saying that Wood had breached a “noncompete agreement” he had signed while at Spivey. His departure for a nearby company, the suit contended, had caused Spivey “irreparable harm.”
Wood attacked the non-compete clause as unfair and overly broad. For instance, the non-compete defined a wide region in which Wood was prohibited from working for two years after leaving Spivey. It wasn’t just Chesapeake or Newport News. It consisted of 65 cities or counties in Virginia, including Charlottesville, Bedford County and South Boston, and seven in North Carolina.
The agreement also didn’t specify the job duties Wood was prohibited from performing, saying only that he could not “become an employee” of a similar business within the zone. That could restrict him even from being a janitor at his new employer’s business.
The court ruled the non-compete clause “overbroad, ambiguous and vague” and therefore void. Bravo!!