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Can you break your noncompete agreement? 

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | EMPLOYMENT LAW (EMPLOYEE) - Employment Contracts

When you got your job, one of the first things your boss did was ask you to sign a noncompete agreement. You wanted the job and you weren’t thinking about looking for another one, so you signed the agreement without worrying about it too much.

But now you’re thinking about switching to another business. You’re frustrated because the noncompete agreement says you can’t work for the competition for a year after you quit. There’s no way you have enough money saved up to just live off of your savings for an entire year, so you feel like you are trapped at the company you currently work for. Could you just break your noncompete agreement and work for the competition?

These agreements are now banned by the FTC

Yes, you can break your agreement. There won’t be any illegal penalties.

There may have been in the past, but noncompete agreements are no longer valid. Unless you are one of the tiny percent of American workers who qualify as a senior executive, your noncompete agreement no longer stands. It doesn’t matter that you already signed it. Courts will not enforce these agreements, so you are free to break the agreement and work wherever you want.

In fact, this is one of the reasons that the Federal Trade Commission gave for instituting the ban. They want to provide more mobility for workers and they claim it will help to increase wages.

A changing legal landscape

This demonstrates how employment laws can change from time to time. Employees need to know about all of their legal rights, especially as the laws are altered and new rules are passed.