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Noncompete law SB169 Oregon

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Bruce asked 8 months ago
My daughter, who lives in Portland, recently left one home health agency as a sales representative in Portland for another home health agency working in Vancouver. Her former employer recently sent her a copy of the non compete agreement she signed 2 years ago when she was hired. Her salary at the time she left last month was approximately $70K. From what I have read, her old employer would have no claim for two reasons. One, her new territory does not cover her prior territory or an area her old company currently operates. And two, SB 169 makes her signed non compete agreement null and void due to her salary at the time she left.

Can you confirm this?

1 Answer
Riia O’Donnell replied 7 months ago
Bruce,

On the surface, it looks like your daughter should have no problems with the non-compete contract she signed with her previous employer – but without seeing the actual contract and the actual terms it holds, it’s difficult to ‘confirm’ for you.

You’re right, if you’re reading the terms of the contract, that if she’s working in a territory that does not compete with her old employer, she should be within her rights to continue her line of work. You’re also correct, that Oregon’s SB169 precludes the enforcement of non-compete agreements based on salary (lower than $97,000 for 2021: $100,000 for 2022) range.

Another area that might be in her favor is that prior Oregon law required non-compete contracts expire after 18 months: 12 months under SB169. Through 2021, your daughter should have taken steps to void the contract as unenforceable under Oregon law. The responsibility before SB 169 was hers. If she did not ask to void the contract, there may be a grey area. Effective 2022 the contract would be void under Oregon law: but it’s unclear yet whether or not the state is allowing grandfathering of older contracts.

A challenge with contract law is that it often includes language and terms outside the scope of the agreement – it might be more than a simple non-compete contract. You’ll want to assure that there are no other clauses or terms your daughter has agreed to. It would be worth having an Oregon attorney who’s current with the new law and any challenges to it that may be pending (particularly for grandfathering) to review the contract she’d signed, for peace of mind.

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