Hate your current job? Maybe you don’t hate it, but you want to leave? Have a non-compete?

Before you call our office and ask us to review your contract, this is what you need to do:

1. REVIEW YOUR CONTRACT – does it say that Virginia law applies? If so, we can help.

2. DON’T TELL ANYBODY – don’t tell your friend at work you are thinking of leaving – don’t tell anyone at work!

3. DON’T PLAN YOUR NEW BUSINESS, AT WORK – I thought this was obvious, but sadly – I was wrong. When you leave, they will sweep your computer – any emails you sent about your new business, business plans drafted – websites searched, will become your employer’s evidence against you in a breach of contract or tortuous interference case.

4. FIND OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO LEFT – do you know there have been 4 folks who left, competed, and were not sued? That’s good news – try to quietly find out what has happened to other employees.

5. SAVE MONEY – even if your employer sues you, and the court finds either (1) the contract was invalid or (2) you didn’t breach it – you will have to pay a good deal of $ in attorneys fees defending yourself, and unless your contract has an attorneys fee provision in it, you will not likely get repayment for what you have spent.

6. BE ORGANIZED – in Virginia, a Breach of contract claim can be brought in 5 years of the breach – which means, you could be sued for something that happened many years ago. Keep records, emails, contact names etc – any doubt in your mind? Be organized.

HAVE SOMEONE look at the contract. It may be over broad. it may be invalid – it may however, be binding – and if so, we would hate for you to spend time and money defending a lawsuit, only to be told by the Court, you can’t compete after all!

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 lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.