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Non compete agreement West Virginia

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  • Non compete agreement West Virginia

    Good evening all! I have a question that involves a situation my brother-in-law is facing. He quit his job at the end of August working for a company based in Ohio. He had signed a non-compete, non disclosure agreement back in May. The agreement forbids him from competing for 2 years and within 500 miles. It would appear that the latter is excessive. Would that cause the agreement to be null and void? Also, the language of the non-compete forbids him from competing within 500 miles of a specific city but there is no state specified. Would that error cause problems with the agreement? My bro-in-law wants to pursue the business he was in, but needs to know where he stands legally. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Michael J. Baird

  • #2
    I hate to say this, for our purpose is to try to help enough so the posters don't have to go to a lawyer unless necessary, but in this case I would say, a lawyer would have to look at the non compete disclosure that he signed to answer the questions that you have asked, for we don't have it sitting next to us, and I am really don't think that missing the state would make it null and void, for somewhere I would imagine the name and location of the business that made him sign this, is in the paperwork, so chances are slim thats a loophole out of it. So sorry! You may get a different answer from someone that deals with these kinds of contracts. I hope you find what you need. I also agree that 500 miles a bit of mileage, but its a contract none the less, so it would hold up in court. I would still ask a lawyer in case there may be any type of exception, as far as what kind of job he takes on. Sorry I can not be of more help.

    Comment


    • #3
      West Va. has no statute that directly addresses non-competes. The West Va. Supreme Court of Appeals has held that non-competes must be reasonable to be enforced. To determine if an agreement is reasonable, the court has applied a three-part inquiry: It must (1) not be greater than is required for the protection of the employer, (2) not impose an undue hardship on the employee, and (3) not be injurious to the public.

      Your brother-in-law does need to take the agreement to an employment or contract attorney for review & advice.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses! I wanted address a couple of things that I missed. First of all, I just re-read his contract and all legal action would take place in Miami County, OH. So apparently WV law wouldn't apply, or would it? For Turbowray, there is no mention of the physical address of anyone in the contract. I know that sounds weird, but I just looked through the whole thing (its only 8 pages) and the only two localities mentioned are the aforementioned Miami County for jurisdiction and the place that my brother-in-law had to fill in which simply states Charleston. No state is specified.

        Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ohio requires non-competes to be reasonable also. Either way, I would have an attorney review it.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            I hope you do take it to a lawyer, according to #2, and your statement of having to go 500 plus miles for employment, the lawyer may look at that. Once again this is just my opinions based on what you have said. I wish you the best of luck on this!! Please keep us posted on how it goes with the attorney!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the replies. My brother-in-law found an excellent attorney in Ohio (albeit quite expensive) who is looking everything over starting this afternoon. I will let everyone know what happens as I am sure resolutions to these types of things can assist many others.

              Thanks again.

              MJB

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by buckeyedesigns View Post
                Thanks everyone for the replies. My brother-in-law found an excellent attorney in Ohio (albeit quite expensive) who is looking everything over starting this afternoon. I will let everyone know what happens as I am sure resolutions to these types of things can assist many others.

                Thanks again.

                MJB
                You are so correct! I also like to hear the positive endings not just the negative beginnings tee hee! I am sorry the lawyer was expensive, but if the saying you get what you pay for is true here, his ending may be good!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I too look forward to hearing what advice your brother-in-law gets. Enforceability of non-compete agreements almost always turns on very specific facts. For example, 500 miles is almost certainly unreasonable for someone like a beautician or some other occupation with a very local client base, but it may be reasonable for some businesses where customers cover a wide territory. I'd like to hear the results, but also the reasoning.
                  David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
                  Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey all. Sorry it took a while to respond to this- things are still not completely ironed out- but here is what has transpired over the past three weeks. Some more input from you all may be very helpful.

                    My bro in law retained a lawyer out of Cincinnati who claims to specialize in this area. I was a little weary because all the lawyer seemed to want to do was negotiate down the mileage. I am still not sure of my overall view of him but I'm not footing the bill so I guess it doesn't matter. He sent his usual "I'm now his representation do not contact him anymore" letter. And he has apparently corresponded with the other attorney on a frequent basis. After two weeks of back and forth correspondence they began to make headway this week. The attorney for my BIL let him know that he was getting some sort of a committee involved. Does that make any sense to anyone here? They were to decide on whether 500 miles was excessive or not. Yesterday the other attorney told my BIL attorney that they have successfully defended their contract but only with a 75 mile radius. I wonder if that was "blue-pencilled" by the judge because this morning my BIL attorney told him that he can conduct business outside of the 75 mile radius. Would you all trust that advice? He also wanted to know what my BIL and sister could offer them as an incentive to get out of the contract. That sounds to me like a cash settlement. Would you agree? If so, what would a reasonable amount be? They informed their attorney today that they would be willing to do a cash settlement but he felt that they should look at that as a last resort. My thinking is that that may be a real option after negotiating the mileage down to 75 miles. That way that is out of the way and the other party may be more prone to accept it.

                    Interestingly there were some other developments this week that may play into my BIL favor. When he quit this company he was replaced by someone who was doing the same work in the area north of him. My brother-in-law never solicited his former clients. He traveled approx 1-200 miles to look for work in the same field. Anyhow, my BIL received three phone calls this week from local car dealerships who found out he was still in business so to speak. They have 3-5k worth of work for him to immediately. They told him that the person who replaced him did work for about a month and then they kicked him off their lot because he damaged several vehicles rather than fix them. That individual has since quit coming into this area. We know this because we have a circle of friends who are involved in different forms of automotive repair work at dealerships. My BIL attorney told him not to do any of that work as it could hamper negotiations, however realizing that they have lost this area may make the other party more willing to accept a cash buyout.

                    Sorry this was so long. Hopefully the resolution post will be much shorter.

                    Thanks for everyones input.

                    Sincerely,

                    Michael J. Baird

                    Comment

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