I know that folks are changing jobs. A New Job means, maybe, you have been asked to sign a non-compete.
If this is your first experience with this beast – beware. This is how we recommend you approach it:
1. Ask if you can take it home to look over it before you sign.
2. Have an attorney review the agreement (usually can have it reviewed for less than $200)
3. Ask questions – “why this State?” “Why Arbitration?” “Why 50 miles and 4 years?” Chances are, the employer did not write this agreement, and maybe if you ask questions about the details, he or she will find the details are not needed.
4. Suggest changes: Don’t want to agree to litigate in South Dakota when you live in Maryland? Suggest a change or modification.
YES- whether the agreement can be enforced is often a legal issue as to whether it is unreasonable, but that takes months of litigation to resolve.
If you can be involved in drafting the agreement, it is much more likely the terms are something you can live with.
And sadly yes, In Virginia, if you refuse to sign, they can refuse to hire you. I know it doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the law!