RUMOR MILL IS WRONG AGAIN 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

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.

About the author

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

Back to top