Emery | Reddy, PLLC is currently representing a client who was hired by Solgen Power, LLC, as a Solar Installation Inspector. Prior to the client’s start date, they were presented with an At-Will Employment Agreement for execution that contained a non-compete covenant. The Agreement explicitly stated that during the Prohibited Period, an employee could not “render services to any prospective or existing client of Solgen with whom Employee communicated or had contact with during [their] employment with Solgen.” The Solgen non-compete covenant unfairly staked its claim on both current and potential future clients and is not regionally limited to Washington state but spans nationwide. The Agreement’s Prohibited Period also unreasonably bound the client to it for a period of 24 months post-employment.
According to RCW 49.62.020(1)(b), an employer must pay their employees at least $107,301.04 by 2022 and adjusted annually per RCW 49.62.040. Mr. Saraceno-Oliveri was paid less than the statutory minimum at a rate of $23 per hour and was not guaranteed 40 hours of work per week. This client is one of many current and former employees who were required to enter into non-competition covenants since January 1, 2020 and are paid below the statutory minimum.
What You Need To Know About The Washington State Non-Compete Law
In the spring of 2019, state legislators overhauled Washington’s non-compete law, which up until then gave employers the power to restrict when and where their former employees could work.
The revamped Non-Compete Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, outlaws unfair non-compete agreements that target lower-wage workers by giving them a variety of new protections designed to unlock their economic potential.
It’s a significant break from existing laws that have long allowed employers to prevent their workers from leaving to work for a competitor or launching a competing business. Despite these changes, some employers continue to enforce non-compete contracts that greatly limit the employment opportunities of their workforce.
Check out our Q&A about non-compete agreements in general and Washington’s 2020 non-compete statute specifically to find out if you may have a case against your current or former employer.
When To Hire A Non-Compete Attorney
If you signed a non-compete after January 1, 2020, or have a non-compete agreement that needs to be revoked, revised, or reviewed by a professional, call Emery | Reddy, PLLC today for a free case review.