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Can your former employer stop you from taking a job?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2020 | Uncategorized

Alaska has a relatively strong economy, but much of the major industry is limited to bigger cities. That can mean that when you leave a job with one company, you will have limited options for pursuing a career in your field. You may wind up considering a job with a direct competitor or looking to start a business in the same industry because that’s where you have experience and skills.

Unfortunately, if your employer had you sign a non-compete agreement as part of your employment contract, there might be restrictions regarding where you can work or what kind of business you can legally start in that contract. Can your former employer really prevent you from taking a new job in an industry where you have experience and education?

Alaska doesn’t prohibit non-compete agreements in contracts

While certain other states do not ever enforce non-compete agreements in employment contracts, Alaska does allow for the inclusion of these terms in an employment contract. However, if your former employer takes issue with your business or career decisions, they will have to bring a lawsuit against you and take you to court to enforce the contract.

Not all non-compete agreements will hold up in court. In order for the courts to rule on your employer’s side, the agreement will typically need to meet certain criteria. Generally speaking, your employer will have needed to offer you something of value in exchange for signing the agreement. That is why most companies have it included as part of the initial employment contract.

If you signed the agreement after you got hired without any compensation, that could invalidate it. The same is true if your employer doesn’t have limits on the duration or geographic applicability of the non-compete agreement.

If you worry about your former employer taking action against you, reviewing your non-compete agreement with an experienced Alaskan employment attorney could help you get a better idea of your current legal situation.