Hocus Pocus: PA Supremes eliminate magic language for creating non-compete loopholes

Ecrivains consult - Texte 4 mains.jpgOn Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made a lot of — some would say, creative — lawyers unhappy.

In a 4-1 decision, the Court held Wednesday that the language “intending to be legally bound” found in Pennsylvania’s Uniform Written Obligations Act will not save an otherwise unenforceable non-competition agreement. You can get the complete back story on this decision in prior blog posts I did here and here.

That leaves two ways to create an enforceable non-competition agreement under Pennsylvania law.

  1. Blood. As a condition of initial employment with the company (i.e., I won’t hire you unless you agree to this here agreement not to compete); or
  2. Ok, tickle torture. For a current employee, you’ll need to provide additional consideration (e.g., a raise, bonus, promotion, etc.) to support a non-competition agreement. Telling someone, “Sign this, or you’re fired,” just won’t cut it.

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Image Credit: “Ecrivains consult – Texte 4 mains” by Jérôme Dessommes – ÉCRIVAINS CONSULT® – ÉCRIVAINS CONSULT®. Licensed under CC0 via Commons.
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