Is Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable in California?

Hey, everyone on Facebook.  Good afternoon, good Saturday.  This week I received a number of phone calls asking whether or not a noncompeting clause is enforceable in California, and I just thought I would to take this opportunity to share some general information with you on the topic.  Again, I’m providing general information so if you have a specific question about your unique circumstance, consult with your local attorney.

Now, this particular situation starts with a salesperson that is currently employed by Company A that now wants to work for Company B.  There is a noncompeting agreement between the sales person and Company A, but Company B is telling this salesperson to go ahead and work with us because a noncompeting agreement is not enforceable in California.  Well, I wouldn’t say that noncompeting agreements are not enforceable as a blanket statement, because there are situations where the court does uphold the noncompeting clause agreement.  So, before we start, I’m going to tell you that there is a public policy in California court that states everybody in California has a right to make a living.  This public policy is pretty much just a guiding principle for the judges that they go by when they are deciding on this type of issue.

So, what does that mean?  Well with that guiding principle in mind, these judges will look at an agreement and whether or not the agreement is enforceable. What they consider is how long is the time limitation, how large is the geographic limitation, what is the relationship of the parties, whether or not you’re an employer or employee, whether or not you’re a buyer or seller in a particular business, and whether or not your position within the company is upper level management or middle management.  All of these factors will influence how a judge will rule on this type of issues.  Also, the most important is what is the actual limitation.  Is it just employment?  Is it because of a certain product that you cannot sell within a geographic area, or certain things that you cannot do within a certain period of time?  There are a lot of factors involved.  Again, I am only providing the general information and for your particular unique situation, you should consult with your local attorney.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email me.  Again, this is Facebook Live and this is going to be viewed by the public, so if you have any confidential information, don’t leave a comment below.  If you have a specific situation that you believe that I can answer, please email me at info@tonyliulaw.com.  We will respond to your question within 24 hours and if I don’t know the answer, then I will point you to the right direction.

That’s it for now.  I’m going to go attend my Day 4 of NLP training, and I’ll talk to you soon.