Many Virginians may be shocked when their long time employer asks them to sign a non-compete, out of the blue.

Non-competes are in friends. yes, they are a business trend of 2009 – so do not be surprised if one creeps into your employment file.

But what do you do if asked to sign one?

Really you have three options: (1) sign (2) refuse or (3) try to negotiate.

Will your employer negotiate the terms? MAYBE but doubtful. If you are the only employee being asked to sign, then yes, maybe negotiaing is an option. But if MANY employees are being asked to sign, the employer is better off NOT changing the terms.

It is important to know why they are asking for the non-compete, to understand the terms, and to see if you are even able to negotiate. Only when you have the full picture can you decide which option is best for you.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at