How to Get a New Job Without Getting into Trouble
By Erica Pero
It’s a classic dilemma: you’re sick of your old job and start interviewing for a new one…but you have a non-compete. What should you do? Here’s how to avoid a lawsuit from your former employer.
Read your existing Employment Agreement. Is there a non-compete? Does your non-compete restrict you from doing what the new job requires of you? Sometimes the new job is different enough that the non-compete wouldn’t apply. (Employers are notorious for drafting broad and vague non-compete language, however, so be careful.)
If the new job is *sort of* different from the old job or pushes the limits of the geographic restriction, it’s best to disclose the issue to your potential new employer at the outset. This is important because if you start working for the new employer and your new employment breaks the non-compete, your former employer can sue you AND your new employer for “tortious interference with contract” (a fancy phrase that means you got in the way). AWKWARD!! Often the new employer will work with you to make sure you aren’t violating the non-compete: agreeing that you will only work in a certain office outside a geographic restriction, for example.
If it’s at all close, explain your new role to your former employer and ask them to sign an acknowledgement stating they will not enforce the terms of your non-compete while you are in your new role. Once acknowledged, you can move forward with the new employment with certainty that no one will sue you or your employer.
What should you do if your non-compete is really vague? It’s best to talk to your current employer and clarify what you’ve been doing – and explain how the new job won’t take business away from them. If you need further assistance, please contact a healthcare attorney.
Erica Pero, an attorney with Pero Law, focuses her practice on health law. She helps healthcare professionals navigate the complexities of running a business in today’s healthcare industry. Pero Law is a lean law firm committed to excellent customer service and exceptional legal representation. perolaw.com