I was attending a dinner party on Saturday (a super fun one by the way) when a friend asked me about my work.
He works for a locally owned company and said something to the effect of:
“We have everyone sign a non-compete but I have always wondered why since they aren’t really binding.”
Yummy shrimp treat in hand, I asked “@$RT^@$IR @#$(^#$(R* #RT^#$(R&@$R IF $#R(@$&R.”
After realizing I had food in my mouth, I smiled, waited a moment, cleared my throat and asked again “Why do you think they are not binding?”
“Because everyone knows they are not,” he replied.
So – I had to educate this very smart, capable and bright friend and once again dispel the incorrect rumors floating around about non-compete agreements in Virginia.
Once again, just in time for the Holidays, allow me to make the following statements of fact:
1. Non compete agreements may be “disfavored” under the law, but they are often upheld.
2. Regardless of whether you signed a contract, you owe certain duties to your employer as an employee, and when you leave.
3. Even if your ex-employer cannot prove damages, he or she may sue you. In court. For lots of money.
4. Non-compete litigation is not fun. Do you like getting your teeth cleaned? Me neither. Multiple by 100 and then pay your dentist $20,000 for the job. That is what non-compete litigation can feel like. Necessary, irritating, uncomfortable, compromising and expensive.
So. Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t listen to the rumor mill, listen to your old pal Lauren instead.