First post on here after doing a ton of Google searching on this topic. Roughly five years ago, I began work at Company A. In my offer letter, there was no mention of my employment being dependent on a non-compete being signed (I still have the original offer letter). A week after I signed that offer letter, I was presented with my new hire information, which contained the employee handbook and a non-compete that I had to sign and send back prior to my first day. The first paragraph of that non-compete reads:
Employee has received an offer of employment from Company, which offer was expressly conditioned upon Employee’s agreeing to the terms contained in this Business Protection Agreement (“Agreement”). If Employee executes this Agreement and commences employment with Company, Employee will be employed in a position of trust and confidence and will have access to and become familiar with Company’s products, methods, technology, services, procedures, and customers.
Is it required for employers to make mention of a non-compete in their offer letters, and if they don't, is the non-compete even enforceable?
Fast forward a few years, and Company A is sold to Company B. In that same non-compete I signed all those years ago, is the following:
Successors/Assignment. This Agreement may be assigned by Company, and shall automatically inure to the benefit of Company’s successors and assigns and shall be enforceable by Company’s successors and assigns. This Agreement cannot be assigned by Employee, and shall be binding upon Employee’s heirs, executors, and administrators.
Even if this non-compete is now being enforced at Company B, is my original one even valid due to my employment offer never mentioning the requirement of a non-compete being signed?
*Edit. Thank you, everyone, for the replies. Here's a bit more detail on what the non-compete is specifying, in regards to post-termination:
Post-Termination Customer-Based Restrictions. Employee agrees that for a period of one (1) year after the termination of his/her employment with Company, without regard to whether such termination is voluntary or involuntary and without regard to the reason (if any) for the termination, Employee will not, directly or indirectly, on his/her own behalf or as an owner, partner, principal, officer, director, shareholder, employee, consultant, contractor, agent or in any other capacity on behalf of another person or entity, solicit, provide, or sell, or attempt to solicit, provide or sell, products or services that are the same as or similar to, or directly or indirectly competitive with, those that Company offers, to any of the following people or entities:
(1) Any person or entity that was a customer of Company within the two year period immediately preceding Employee’s last day of employment with Company, and (2) Any person or entity that was a potential customer of Company during the two year period immediately preceding Employee’s last day of employment with Company. A potential customer is defined as any person or entity that Company directly or indirectly solicited or attempted to provide products or services, or a person or entity that contacted Company regarding Company’s products or services.
Only reason I am bringing this up is because I found a case with a similar situation as mentioned in this post: https://www.noncompetereport.com/2017/11/minnesota-court-appeals-reaffirms-non-compete-must-part-job-offer-prospective-employee/
In this case, the court ruled that since a non-compete was not presented at the time of the employment offer, there was no consideration for signing it, and it was not enforceable as a result. Only difference I have not left company B to start my own company (or work for a different company) with the intent of soliciting customers of Company B; just looking to get some opinions.