Non Compete Clause??? Is this legal?


Hello everyone,

I currently work for a ASC in Pain Management as the Lead RN. I specialize in pre-op/pacu and circulating OR. Today I received a non compete clause contract which included a paragraph about once I am no longer an employee with them I cannot work in the same position for another company for 12 months. Has anyone ever experienced this and how should I proceed? I really don't feel comfortable signing?

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

Non compete clauses are legal but they have limits. I am not sure if yours is enforceable or not. I signed a few in my previous life as a business owner.

Non compete clauses are limited in length of time and also in distance. There should be a mileage radius in your clause. 30 miles is common. So if you were to leave the company you would need to work 30 miles from your current company for a year.

If there is no distance limit, the clause is probably not enforceable. Ask a lawyer though, especially if your second choice company is nearby.

If you don't like the non compete clause, you can always ask the employer to take it out or change the terms. It's a good idea to talk to an employment lawyer first though, to get an idea of what a reasonable expectation would be.


Just re read this and if I am understanding correctly this is about a position you already have?

No. Do not sign.

Specializes in Flight, ER, Transport, ICU/Critical Care.

I concur with FolksBtrippin BSN, RN

Listen kids, if presented a contract that gives you nothing additional (HIGHLY specialized training, Certifications) other than keeping your current job, DO NOT SIGN sign an employment contract that only serves to restrict your employment elsewhere.

Delay, defer and seek local counsel.

Happy at job or not - what could the motivation for the employer be? Restricting an otherwise good employee that would have to leave seems like something is about to go sideways.




1,262 Posts

Specializes in PICU. Has 17 years experience.

Something doesn't sound right about this, it appears as though a change may be in the air.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

I know this topic is 3 months old but this is something that is widely used in the home infusion industry. Whether or not they are enforceable is up for debate and also depends on a lot of things. I signed one with my current company. I am leaving my job for something in a completely different realm and have no desire to ever work for a for-profit company again so I don't foresee it ever coming up. My colleagues who have left and taken jobs with other home infusion companies have not had problems. I know one former nurse liaison was sent a "cease and desist" after she went to work for a competitor but when the sales people tried to get the legal team involved, the legal people basically said there was no case because she was working in a different role. (I.e. she left a liaison role to be a nurse manager and as a nurse manager, she could go into the hospital as a representative of her new company.)

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

I had a non-compete when I worked PDN Peds, but it stated I could not care for the same PATIENT for six months after leaving. It was to keep parents from gutting the company of nurses when they switched companies.

I endured a six month exile from my favorite patient- got threatened by the old company but nothing ever came of it because I did exactly what the contract specified.


5 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Thank you all for your advice.


38,333 Posts

Once signed a non-compete clause that stated if I violated it within six months (or maybe it was a year) of leaving employment, I would be liable for $2500. I never considered it to be a problem. If any inkling that this could be a problem, I would have gone elsewhere for work.