Non Compete Unenforceable Against Independent Contractor
In order to be considered an independent contractor in Massachusetts, you have to be free to provide services to others. This can be inconsistent with a non compete agreement. Below is an example of a non compete case we defended for an independent contractor.
Case Study D: Background
Client D worked as a contractor for a telecom provider. He worked in Massachusetts but his employer was out of state. The employer classified him as an independent contractor but required that he sign a non compete.
The employer sent Client D a notice of termination while he was still owed money for services. The employer then objected to Client D taking a new job with a competing company based on the non compete clause in his independent contractor agreement.
Case Study D: Strategy and Outcome
We first attempted to negotiate a resolution with the employer. We laid out the argument that the agreement was unenforceable against an independent contractor. The agreement itself also said that if they terminated his engagement without cause they would waive the non compete.
Nonetheless, the employer insisted on threatening Client D with a lawsuit if he accepted the job he had been offered.
We filed a complaint for declaratory judgment seeking an order that the non compete provisions were unenforceable and/or waived. We also brought claims under the independent contractor law, and claims for overdue and unpaid wages.
After being served with the lawsuit, the employer agreed to settle. Client D was compensated for his unpaid wages and allowed to accept his new employment offer. Client D continues to work for that new employer today.
Case Study D: Takeaways
There are a number of lessons to be learned from this example that may help you if you are facing a dispute over a non compete agreement
Can We Help You?
We have years of experience representing people in non compete lawsuits in Massachusetts state and federal courts, as well as responding to cease and desist letters, and we would be happy to help. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.
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