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.

If you’re on LinkedIn, consider joining the discussion of news, trends and insights in employment law, HR, and the workplace, by becoming a member of The Employer Handbook LinkedIn Group. Yes, we’re snarky there too. Tell ’em Meyer sent you.

Image Credit: “Ecrivains consult – Texte 4 mains” by Jérôme Dessommes – ÉCRIVAINS CONSULT® – ÉCRIVAINS CONSULT®. Licensed under CC0 via Commons.
“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
Contact Information