Covenant Not-to-Compete Not Enforceable Against English-Challenged Russian Immigrant

by Lee Gesmer on August 4, 2006

It’s a bad day when your client wants you to enforce a noncompete agreement against a $10/hour Russian immigrant with “a very limited command of English,” who sends most of her earnings back to her son and elderly parents in Russia, and who, after a year of at-will employment and with no further payment of consideration, was told that unless she signed the noncompete agreement she’d be fired the next day.

Nevertheless, that’s what the plaintiff’s lawyer faced in Zabota Community Center, Inc. v. Frolova.

Not surprisingly, Judge Allan van Gestel of the Suffolk County Business Litigation Session threw the book at the plaintiff in this case, denying the motion for every reason conceivable.

You can read the case here (pdf file).

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