Independent Contractor Resists Enforcement of Non Compete
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.
Independent Contractor Non Compete Case Study 2: Background
Client E worked for a building maintenance company and was classified as an independent contractor. About a year into this relationship, the company insisted that he sign a non compete. Client E objected to the non compete, and was told he would be terminated if he didn't sign the agreement. The company offered him no additional compensation or benefits for signing the agreement.
Client E eventually resigned his position to start his own handyman service company. When he started contacting potential customers, he learned that his former employer had told them all he was prohibited from providing services because of his non compete.
Independent Contractor Non Compete Case Study 2: Strategy and Outcome
We worked with Client E to gather relevant documents about his employment and independent contractor agreement. We determined that he had a claim for improper classification as an independent contractor and for unpaid wages. We also determined that he could make an interference claim against his former employer for the untrue statements being made to customers.
Finally, we concluded that the non compete was unenforceable because of his independent contractor status and because they had not offered him any compensation in exchange for signing the agreement.
We outlined these claims in a letter to the employer and stated that we would file a lawsuit if we did not receive a satisfactory response. The employer responded, and we were able to resolve the case with payment to Client E and a release from the non compete provisions.
Independent Contractor Non Compete Case Study 2: 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
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