KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Non-Compete Agreements

Workers' Rights Project
June 2018

What are non-compete agreements?

Non-compete agreements are employment contracts that prohibit employees from taking similar jobs or creating their own compelling businesses within a specific geographic area and/or time frame after they leave their current job.

What does it mean to have signed a non-compete agreement?

If you have signed a non-compete agreement and then you violate the agreement by working for a competitor, your former employer can sue you in court. Your current employer may even decide to terminate your employment. It is common for an employer to have employees sign non-recruit (promising not to hire other employees) and non-solicitation agreements (promising not to solicit work from the employer’s customers) along with a noncompete agreement.

How common are noncompete agreements?

40% of workers in the US have signed a non-compete agreement at some point in their careers. 20% of workers are currently working under such an agreement.

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