Previous boss threatening to sue because of my new jobs location

So long story short, my previous bosses are not very happy with my new job. They found out that I’m working in one of their rival schools in the area and are threatening to sue me. I believe in the contract it stated that if you leave the school, you aren’t able to work in the area which I thought was complete BS. Do they have a valid position? Should I be afraid or are they blowing steam? Thanks

If you have a good reputation and you move to another school, they may try to sue you, because it might result in a loss of business for the original employer.

Please try to teach less, and suck up to the boss more.

So should I be worried? I had faithfully finished my two year contract with them.

Do you still have a copy of that contract?

If the location’s exclusivity is mentioned and if it has your signature, I believe they have a valid case to sue you.

The contract should also mention the penalties you are facing for breaking that agreement.

It can be a fine of several months to several years salaries.

A previous employer had a non-compete clause in my contract. When I interviewed for a new job, I told them about it. It was a group interview and most interviewing me were (local) lawyers. They told me not to worry about it and a couple even laughed at the idea. I have since been told by other lawyers (both local and foreign) that there would be no way to enforce such a non-compete clause in my case. Basically, it came down to my particular set of circumstances (no contact with clients, not being privy to trade secrets, etc.). My guess (and it’s an uneducated one since I’m not a lawyer) is that your particular set of circumstances would also make a non-compete clause unenforceable.

PM me if you don’t get a more definitive answer and you’re interested in contacting a lawyer about this. I don’t know how much he would charge, but if you mention my name, which I’ll tell you if you PM me, I imagine he wouldn’t charge much (or at least much less than he would normally charge).

I think you are in a bit of a pickle. You did specifically sign a contract that stated that you wouldn’t work within a certain area within a certain number of years.

Talk to your current boss about it. They likely know more about whether or not it’s something that the other school would pursue. It also depends on how far the old boss would go just on principle. It might not make economic sense to pursue this but some will pursue this just out of spite.

I wasn’t allowed to bring a copy of the contract back home and it was completely in Chinese anyways so they had someone translating it while I signed. I asked a friend that’s a Chinese teacher there and she showed me a contract probably for the Chinese teachers. It said I wasn’t allowed to share trade secrets or files. Nothing about working in the vicinity. Though the contract I signed might be different , I think I’ll just ignore his calls for the time being .

Not allowed is horseshit.

In the future it should be SOP to get a copy of anything that you sign. that being said shit gets lost.

need to
check with lawyer, a lot of those
clauses are unenforceable, they can’t stop you working to make a living right?

There’s some info here.

You should notify your employer and have them set you up with a lawyer. It sounds like your first boss was shady as hell because it’s standard practice to have two copies of a contract. I’m not sure of whether or not that is in and of itself illegal, hence the suggestion you seek help from a legal professional and not us keyboard lawyers over here on the Internets. Meanwhile, as far as I can tell a “non-compete” clause doesn’t have any authority over where you physically work. It seems your old boss is worried about free market competition and trying to limit customer access to competitors in the area, which I’m pretty sure there is no legal basis to do. Again, not a lawyer.

Thanks for the suggestion guys! Will probably contact a lawyer and wait to see if anything gets sent over. My ex coworkers say they’re probably just saying it to scare the current employees and won’t do anything. Scumbags

The school owner might be a scumbag but OP is way too naive.

Having a contract translated by a company staff, signing it on spot and not getting a copy… you might have signed a slavery ownership from what you know!

Hire a lawyer and have him getting a copy of that contract. It’s standard to get some kind of exclusivity agreements in business and they are fully enforced when needed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you get sue.

Didn’t that raise a huge red flag for you when that happened, OP?
Also, slightly off-topic, but why do Engrish teachers have to deal with so much more shady employer activity than the rest of us? Or does it just seem that way?

By law, they have to let tou take a copy of the contract home.

call old boss, say you will report them to the government for breaking this law if they dont shuddup.

they will then, shuddup.

It becomes a his word against their word situation that doesn’t hold much weight.

OTOH if he has paystubs that don’t agree with what they are reporting to the tax office (very common) then they will shut up real quick.

“Non-compete” clauses should be illegal. They are anti-competitive, and competition is the basis of capitalism.