Saylavee LLC v. Hunt
Two-Year Agreement Not To Compete Is Enforceable
Contracts | Breach | Labor and Employment | Employment Contracts
- Superior Court
- Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford
- May 07 2013 (Date Decided)
- Karazin, J.T.R.
A court can find that a non-compete contract that prevents a former employee from working for a competitor within 10 miles of a former employer for two years is enforceable. The plaintiff operates an exercise studio known as Bodyfit. The plaintiff hired the defendant, Rhonda Hunt, to work as an exercise instructor, and asked her to sign a non-compete agreement. Allegedly, Hunt took the non-compete contract home and did not ask her husband, a lawyer, to review the contract, before she signed and returned the contract. Hunt resigned on Aug. 12, 2011. In or about July 2012, Hunt allegedly began to work at a gym that was located less than two miles away from the location of Bodyfit. Exercise classes at her new employer were similar to those offered at Bodyfit. The plaintiff requested a temporary injunction, to enforce the non-compete contract. To prevail, the plaintiff must prove irreparable harm, lack of an adequate remedy at law and that the plaintiff is likely to prevail on the merits. The court found that the restriction of 10 miles and the duration of two years were reasonable and enforceable. Hunt voluntarily and knowingly signed the contract. Her alleged work for a competitor violated the contract. As a result of a remedies clause in the contract, the court can grant equitable relief, without proof of irreparable harm or that monetary damages would be inadequate. A temporary injunction was required to maintain the status quo. The court granted the plaintiff's request for a temporary injunction, to bar the defendant from working at the new workplace, or any other exercise facility within 10 miles of Bodyfit. The court also barred the defendant from disclosing Bodyfit's proprietary business information and from soliciting current or former Bodyfit clients. The court ordered the plaintiff to post a $10,000 bond.