I have a following clause in my employment contract that I signed when the company hired me: "For a period of ONE (1) year after the end of employment, the Employee shall not control, consult to, or be employed by any business similar to that conducted by the Company, either by soliciting any of its accounts or by operating within the Company’s general trading area." I was on paternity leave during the last year. What are the probable consequences if I start working for another company that conducts the similar business? I live in Ontario Canada. Thank you.
You have a right to earn a living using your specialized knowledge or skills (and many people stay within the same industry when changing jobs).
From the link below: Courts do not like to interfere with an individual’s ability to earn a living any more than is reasonably necessary and will refuse to enforce covenants that are not. A non-competition clause, which prevents an individual from working in the same industry, is usually seen as an unreasonable restriction. A non-solicitation clause allows the individual to stay in the industry where they have their experience, contacts, and knowledge but prevents them from actively contacting customers for business opportunities that compete with their former employer. Courts are more likely to enforce such clauses so long as the terms are reasonable.
You will have breached your contract. Common remedies that your ex-employer could seek are monetary damages or an injunction on you or your new employer preventing you from working.