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Old 04-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
Cory House
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Non-compete Contract

I teach CrossFit Kids and two adult classes at a very small gym in Colorado. I really enjoy teaching both classes and love the members. Unfortunately the owner and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, and I don't trust his decision making abilities.

Today he asked me to sign a non-compete contract where if I quit/get fired I cannot train for money within 50 miles for 2 years! I have no intentions of training elsewhere, I live in a small community...but since we don't get along as much as I would like I hate to feel tied down.

I am looking for stories on non-compete contracts and thoughts, am I crazy for not wanting to sign this/do a lot of gym owners use this? I don't plan on opening a gym (the area really isn't big enough for two). Thank you for you responses!
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
Michael L Gardner
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Re: Non-compete Contract

To me it sounds like he is scared... If I were you, I wouldn't sign it. I firmly believe in keeping as many doors open as possible.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:33 AM   #3
Sean Dunston
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Re: Non-compete Contract

It has been a while since I read the affiliate agreement, but my recollection is you can't have non-compete contracts with your trainers.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
Kevin Mueller
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Re: Non-compete Contract

Talk to a local attorney, there's a good chance that the agreement you are describing isn't enforceable in Colorado. I am not licensed in Colorado, but I have worked on several M&A transactions involving Colorado employees. Non-competes are notoriously hard to enforce there - by statute they are presumed to be void and unenforceable unless the employer can meet one of four exceptions to a general rule against enforcing non-competes. Even if a non-compete is held valid, courts will often strictly limit the distance and duration.

Also be aware that are differences in non-competes and in non-solicitation agreement (i.e., you agree not to take any of his existing clients if you leave).
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
Cory House
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Re: Non-compete Contract

Thank you all for your responses.

Michael, I agree and appreciate the advice.

Sean, I appreciate the feedback you have given me and to many other posters.

Kevin, thank you for the advice and your experiences, I will continue to look into it.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
Brian Strump
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Re: Non-compete Contract

Not sure about the affiliate agreement, just what I've heard on the boards in regards to this.

However, it also needs to be deemed necessary and reasonable, which is not for 50 miles.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
Jeff Enge
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Re: Non-compete Contract

You say the non-compete agreement says you can't "train for money." Is it really that general? I can't see something that specifies 50 miles and as general a scope as training for money actually being enforceable. If your education is in personal training, that would probably constitute an unreasonable hardship. If it's limited to training CrossFit, that may be a little more reasonable to enforce, although there's obviously ways you could get around that since CrossFit is just a brand name.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:03 AM   #8
Christopher Morris
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Re: Non-compete Contract

I wouldn't sign it. If you refuse to sign it, do you think he's going to end your working relationship?

Non-compete clauses have to take into consideration the local area. If you're in a small town, 50 miles may be unreasonable. In an urban area, 5 miles might be reasonable. For a non-compete to be fair, you would be required to work far enough you're not going to be drawing away his clients, but not so far that it makes it impossible for you to work at all.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
Cory House
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Re: Non-compete Contract

Thank you for all the replies, I have decided to not work there anymore. Unfortunately the owner of my gym and I don't see eye to eye on many things, so this is probably a blessing in disguise. I am looking to join another local affiliate with a better reputation and look forward to being just a member, learning from someone with more experience, and just doing CrossFit.
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