In healthcare, there has been a major expansion in non-competitive clauses. Many of our clients want to find a way out of their non-compete clause when looking to leave their current job.
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The first way to avoid non-compete clause violations is to have your attorney negotiate a no-non-compete clause contract before starting your work.
Sometimes, non-compete clauses are unavoidable. So what can you do in that situation?
- Make sure you understand your non-competing language. Are there any exceptions? Are there any hospitals created or maybe there are exemptions to enter private practice? If you wish to waive non-competition, first ask a health attorney to carefully review the provisions for possible exceptions. You can also try to provide services that are not included in non-competing languages.
- Submit an amendment that waives the clause. We often work with clients who enter into non-compete agreements to help them see if they can make amendments that waive their non-compete. Sometimes this is as simple as discussing with your employer and preparing a short amendment to your contract. However, sometimes complex negotiations ensue to reach an agreed compromise.
- Litigation of the clause. This would be an extreme measure, however, we have put forward a non-compete clause for our clients. While we generally discourage litigation, there are exceptions to every rule. Litigation is expensive and there is no way to know whether or not a non-competition clause will be considered reasonable. If it makes sense, you’ll spend time and money on a court case and still have to comply with non-compete clauses. However, if your clause is completely unreasonable and is preventing you from making a living, it is worth discussing litigation with your attorney. Sometimes you will be forced into litigation if your employer sues you for a non-competition violation, if they believe you committed an offence.
- Work outside clause. While this may not be what you want to hear, sometimes it’s important to work beyond geographic boundaries for a limited period of time. Once the time is up, you can start working in the previously restricted area.
Some of our clients ask us if they can take the risk and waive non-competition terms. This is a very risky strategy, as the employer may sue them for misconduct and start a costly court battle. There may also be other clauses that will be triggered in the contract, such as indemnity.
Whatever the case, all non-competitors are different and we always recommend meeting with an experienced attorney before agreeing to a non-compete or trying to address a non-compete.
If you have questions or need assistance with your health care contract or non-compete clause, contact Rickard & Associates today.
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