Noncompete contracts can make it tough to change jobs

Star Tribune article published Sunday, February 18, 2018, highlights issues with noncompete agreements in employment:

Although sometimes called different things, a noncompete agreement is essentially a contract under which an employee agrees not to compete with the old employer for period of time and maybe in a geographic area after leaving the job. Practices vary around the country, and here they’ve been shaped by many years of case law, not the Legislature . . .

One thing Minnesota workers have going for them: They have to be paid for agreeing to a noncompete, although parties have argued in court over what’s real compensation. They also have had the courts looking out for them if employers have given them restrictions that are too broad, like a noncompete that lasts five years rather than the far more customary one or two years.