This question is about when is something legally binding. Say I am an interview for a new company. They advise me that continuing to work for my old one (even on a part-time basis) would be a conflict of interest. I agree to quit. However it is never agreed to in any contract, for example, the employment contract contains no non-compete clauses.

Would I still be obligated to quit my old job and not work at it on a part-time basis?

In general for non-compete clauses, must the plaintiff prove that the two jobs are actually competitors? For example, would it be enough to say an employee is working at two different restaurants, or does that not mean they are necessarily competitors?

  • 5
    Verbal contracts are a thing...
    – Trish
    Sep 26, 2020 at 13:55
  • 1
    Almost always the employment contract will say something like "you agree to abide by all company policies as defined in the employee handbook", where the conflict of interest policy is contained in the employee handbook. You won't be "obligated" to quit the old job, but you might be fired from the new job if you don't. Sep 27, 2020 at 1:36
  • @Trish that is the question. Does someone saying "you have to quit your other job" and you saying "ok" count as a verbal contract? Sep 27, 2020 at 9:24
  • 2
    yes, that could be a verbal contract.
    – Trish
    Oct 4, 2020 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


You probably would not be "obligated" to do anything. However your employer also would not be "obligated" to continue employment. If you agreed to something verbally, that is a contract. Verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce, but in this case the employer does not need to enforce it but rather take the easier solution of terminating your employment.

  • Assuming it is an "at will" employment. Might not be the typical case in Canada Oct 4, 2020 at 23:59

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