Forced to sign Non-Compete to get final paycheck

Not open for further replies.


New Member
I'm here in Colorado and was terminated from a computer company for affirming I was owed commissions and only paid in part for my sales. Upon termination I was told that I would only be issued my final check providing I signed the "termination paperwork" which included a non-compete. With as bad as the economy has been, I was in no place to be further screwed out of pay so I complied.

Recently I began working for a competitor of the former employer and have been making calls based on the list I was given. Some of the accounts are current customers of the former employer and have reported back to him that I'm soliciting them and in return the former employer has threatened to sue.

My questions are:

Can an employer legally withhold my final paycheck until I agree to sign a non-compete?

Can he refuse to issue me a copy of the signed non-compete until he sues me as he I requested and he threatened?

Does this clown have a leg to stand on?
Last edited:
1.) No. However, this does not mean that the non-compete is necessarily non-enforceable since you did sign it. You'll have to show it to an attorney in your state.

2.) Why didn't you take a copy of it when you signed it?

3.) Unknown. See the last sentence of #1.

BTW, it's quite possible that a letter from an attorney will shake a copy of it loose.
You may be able to get the non-compete made invalid by claiming you signed it under duress. It is illegal to withhold your wages like that.
I'm not an expert on Non-Compete agreements, but it could be difficult to have it enforced retroactively. Those agreements are usually signed at the beginning of the employment relationship, not the end. I had a law professor tell me once that judges do not like non-compete agreements when used to prevent somebody from getting a job in their own profession.
Bottom line, it is difficult to enforce a non-compete, but that doesn't stop anybody from suing you anyways.
Not open for further replies.