Are non-compete clauses valid?
Question Details: I'm currently a therapist at a private practice that services private pay clients only. I'm contemplating opening my own private practice that will service insured clients only. However, according to my independent contractor contract, I cannot open or join another practice within a 10 mile radius of any of the current practices locations for a period of 2 years. Is this enforceable or would this be considered unreasonable based on the time, geographic restrictions and potential impediments to my finances?
1) Noncompetition agreements are legal and enforceable.
2) A 10-mile radius is likely reasonable, since that appears reasonably related to the distance that someone might drive (or Uber or take mass transit, etc.) for therapy; therefore, it seems reasonably related to the goal of protecting the employer from a former employee's competition.
3) 2 years is likely longer than would be enforced. While every case is judged on its own facts, so generalizing is dangerous, generally, 6 months to 1 year is seen as reasonable for most employees, even professional ones, other than former business owners who agreed to the noncompete as part of selling their business or practice. It is likely that if challenged in court, that a court would cut the time down to one year, possibly less.