In a recent decision, a U.S. District Court acknowledged the “janitor rule” in determining a non-compete clause was so broad that it was unenforceable. Under the janitor rule, if the restriction is so broad that it would prohibit an employee from working in any capacity for a competitor, even as a janitor, then it’s very unlikely to be enforced by a judge. The clause in question barred the former employee from being employed by any business that offers a product or service in actual competition with the employer, or which may be engaged directly or indirectly in the business of employer. This ruling is in line with the recent noticeable trend of judges taking a wary view of non-competes, and highlights the need for such restrictions to be narrowly tailored to a protectable business interest.

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