The enforcement of a non-compete agreement is not dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the termination of the employee. A restrictive covenant can be legally binding whether the employee voluntarily terminates his employment or the employer releases the employee from its employ. Termination does not invalidate a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement is legally binding and enforceable post-termination and Connecticut courts have routinely held that “termination of employment at [the] initiative of [the] employer does not itself render [a] non-competition provision invalid.” Furthermore, the enforceability of a restrictive covenant will not turn on whether an employee experienced a voluntary or involuntary termination.
Similarly, constructive discharge does not invalidate a non-compete agreement executed under Connecticut law. A claim of constructive discharge is usually a defense offered by a former employee to argue that although he or she terminated the employment it was only as a result of employer bad faith and impropriety that rendered continued employment virtually impossible.
Constructive discharge occurs “when an employer, rather than directly discharging an individual, intentionally creates an intolerable work atmosphere that forces an employee to quit involuntarily.” The nature of termination is irrelevant to an agreement’s validity and enforceability and “under Connecticut law, there is no reason to believe that a constructive discharge invalidates a covenant not to compete when a straightforward termination otherwise would not.”
Our employment law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with discrimination, non-compete, and general labor law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best employment and labor law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to an employment and labor law attorney about a pressing matter, please do not hesitate to contact Joseph Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com. We offer free consultations to all new clients.