Non Compete Agreements Washington State

Non-compete agreements in Washington State: What you need to know

Non-compete agreements are a type of contract that employers use to prevent employees from working for their competitors after leaving their job. In Washington State, employers may use non-compete agreements, but there are specific rules and limitations that must be followed.

What is a non-compete agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a legal contract that prohibits an employee from working for a competitor or starting a competing business for a set period of time after leaving their current employer. Non-compete agreements may also restrict employees from soliciting the employer`s customers, clients, or employees.

Washington State law on non-compete agreements

Washington State law recognizes that non-compete agreements can have a negative impact on employees, businesses, and the economy. As a result, Washington State has strict rules that employers must follow when using non-compete agreements.

Key provisions of Washington State law on non-compete agreements include:

– Non-compete agreements must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic area.

– Non-compete agreements must be supported by adequate consideration, such as a promotion or signing bonus.

– Non-compete agreements are generally not enforceable against employees earning less than $100,000 per year.

– Non-compete agreements are not enforceable against certain categories of employees, such as seasonal or temporary workers, students, or employees laid off due to lack of work.

– Employers must provide employees with a copy of the non-compete agreement before or at the time of the job offer.

Enforcing non-compete agreements in Washington State

If an employer believes that an employee has violated a non-compete agreement, they may file a lawsuit to enforce the agreement. However, Washington State courts will only enforce non-compete agreements that meet all the requirements of the law. Additionally, Washington State courts may modify a non-compete agreement if it is found to be overly restrictive.


Non-compete agreements can have a significant impact on employees and businesses in Washington State. As a result, employers must follow specific rules and limitations when using non-compete agreements. If you are an employee or employer considering a non-compete agreement, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure compliance with Washington State law.