Non-Competes -the stay or go decision

Last week a mortgage banker, Mark, came to me with a worrisome problem. He had been a top performer for his employer, Bank 1, during most of the four years he had worked there. He was satisfied with his employment, and was ready to build a nice home. In his personal life, the family was growing and he needed a bigger home. He worked with Bank 1 to secure a home loan at good rates, and set in motion the process of securing a new home loan with Bank 1.

While in the midst of this home loan process, an out of state competitor, Bank 2,  –who wanted to expand its mortgage offerings into his state—offered Mark a job at a higher pay rate, doing the same job he had been doing for the previous four years at Bank 1.


News of this job offer reached management, and Bank 1 threatened Mark that he would be violating his non-compete agreement if he took the new job with Bank 2.  Mark told Bank 1 that he hadn’t committed to work for Bank 2, and that he was still an employee of Bank 1 –doing his job.

There was a job opening Bank 1 was hiring for, since Mark’s boss had just resigned. So Mark inquired about what kind of progressive career path Bank 1 could offer him … since Bank 2’s offer was a step up in both pay and title. This ruffled Bank 1’s feathers … and they scolded him for his lack of loyalty.

Mark consulted with me about his non-compete agreement, trying to determine the likelihood of being sued by –and losing or winning a suit law with—Bank 1.  I informed him that in his State, non-compete agreements were legal (unlike California, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Montana). And since the States that allow non-compete agreements have their own unique criteria, I also educated him about his State’s enforcement criteria.

Equipped with this information, Mark decided to take the new job.   As of this blog entry, Bank 1 has not filed a complaint for violation of his non-compete against Mark.  For further information about Non-Competes contact: