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Is a Non-Compete for a Short Term Employee Enforceable?

Let’s say you just joined the company, find out it was not a good fit, and left within a matter of weeks or months.

A twist: you signed a non-compete that keeps you out of the industry for two years.

Can a company enforce the non-compete against you, even though you only worked for a few weeks? In other words, will a . . .

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Is a Contract Signed with a Fake Trade Name Legal in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, is a contract signed with a fictitious trade name legal, valid, and enforceable?

The answer is probably yes. A contract signed with a fictitious trade name is valid and not void, so long as the trade name has been properly registered with the state.

I. If the Trade Name is Registered, the Contract is Likely Valid

No Virginia court has directly addressed . . .

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Veterinarian Non-Compete Held Unenforceable in Virginia

In Farm Veterinary Servs. v. Novak, 61 Va. Cir. 584 (2001), a group of veterinarians had a non-compete contract with their employer.

The veterinarians resigned and began competing with their former employer. The employer sued or breach of contract.The judge held that the non-compete was overbroad, unreasonable and unenforceable as a matter of law, and dismissed the lawsuit.

Here is a brief summary of the case . . .

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Court: Injunction Denied in Statewide Non-Compete

Case: Wings, LLC v. Capitol Leather, LLC, Case No. CL-2014-9 (Fairfax March 6, 2014)

Wings, LLC, a company in Gainesville, Virginia, provides vinyl, fabric, and leather repair services. Most of their customers are auto dealerships and collision center who hire Wings to repair car interiors.

Wings employed technicians to service customers in defined geographic territories. Wings has customers in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, . . .

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Court: Engineers’ Non-Compete Valid Under Virginia Law

Case: Virginia Transformer Corp. v. Labh, et al., Case No. CL12-475 (Roanoke February 19, 2014)

Virginia Transformer, a manufacturer of transformers in Roanoke, Virginia, sued two former engineers in Roanoke City Circuit Court who left to join a Missouri competitor. The engineers had been hired in India and brought to the United States for training. (For more information on the visa process as . . .

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Does Virginia allow a non-compete covering any of the company’s offices?

Imagine working for a large, national company. You are based in Richmond. The company has offices in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. You resign to join a competitor in Orange County.

Not a problem, right? After all, you are moving nearly 2,000 miles away for your new job.

It might be a problem if, like many employees, your non-compete says, “Employee will not perform competitive services . . .

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Is a worldwide ban on soliciting former clients valid in Virginia?

Many non-solicitation contracts will state, “Employee will not, directly or indirectly, solicit competitive services from the customers of Employer for a period of two (2) years.”

Read literally: the employee cannot solicit former clients anywhere throughout the world.

Is a worldwide ban on solicitation enforceable?

 . . .

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Is my non-compete invalid because Virginia is “right to work”?

It is a common statement from employees with non-compete contracts: “There’s no way the judge is going to prevent me from working, no matter what this contract says. After all, Virginia is a right to work state!”

Wrong. Right to work has nothing to do with non-compete contracts.

The definition of “right to work” has no application whatsoever to non-compete, non-solicit, or “no . . .

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Sale of Business Agreement’s Non-Compete Upheld by Virginia Supreme Court

In Parr v. Alderwoods Group, Inc., 268 Va. 461 (2004), a family sold its funeral home business to a holding company. The holding company signed a lease for the funeral home property; and, the family signed a non-compete that prohibited them from opening a competing funeral home after the sale of the business.

After the sale closed, the holding company began making regular lease payments. Several years into . . .

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Banker’s Non-Compete Struck Down in Virginia Court

In Nida v. Business Advisory Sys., 44 Va. Cir. 487 (1998), a loan officer resigned from a residential mortgage lender in Winchester, Virginia, and joined a competitor.

The lender sued the officer in a Virginia court for breach of a non-compete provision in an independent contractor agreement. The judge held for the officer, whose non-compete was overbroad and unenforceable as a matter . . .

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