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Outside the Box: A lawyer reveals what to do when your boss demands you sign a non-compete agreement

Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements are designed to protect employers from unfair competition by a former employee, and they are no longer just for CEOs and other highly paid professionals.

Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are now being used for lower-wage employees such as janitors, sandwich makers and hair stylists. One out of every five workers in the United States, or approximately 30 million people, are bound by non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, according to recent surveys. Approximately 15% of U.S. workers with earnings of less than $40,000 per year also report having a non-compete.

A non-compete prevents an employee from working for an employer’s competitor or starting a competing business for a set period of time, typically between one to two years, and within a designated geographic area, such as within a city or county limit.

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