I work for a small company and they lost the contract with a client. It is a maintenance company. The client wants to hire me but says that the contract states that they cannot.

Does anyone know how long this would be in effect for? Is there a standard such as 3 months? Can anyone assist me?

closed as off-topic by Thomas Owens, mxyzplk, Mister Positive, gnat, Chris E Mar 20 '17 at 13:18

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  • 3
    Read the contract, it will specify. – Nuclear Wang Mar 17 '17 at 22:16
  • @Matt is right. Do you have a copy of the contract? You need to add a location tag to your question for better answers. – Mister Positive Mar 17 '17 at 22:22
  • You should ask the client how long is specified in the contract. – paparazzo Mar 18 '17 at 13:39
  • You'd need to check the contract as well as whatever you signed when you started. – EJoshuaS Mar 18 '17 at 23:27

Impossible to say, without intimate knowledge of:

  1. The details of the contract your client has with your employer (and whether there is a "no poaching" clause)
  2. The details of your contract with your employer (and whether you have a "no compete" clause)
  3. Good understanding of the laws in your country/state (since those local laws can determine whether the contracts are enforceable)

Even if you ultimately succeed, you or the client might decide that dealing with a lawsuit is more expensive and time consuming than its worth.

If you think it might be worth it, consult with a local attorney familiar with employment matters.


There is nothing that would forbid you to start working for the client, but there is most likely a contract between your company and the client company, that forbids the client company to hire you.

Whether you can do anything about it or not will depend on the country where you are, but quite possibly there is nothing that can be done from your side.

  • 1
    There could easily be a non-compete in OP's contract with their employer. – BradC Mar 17 '17 at 22:13

As gnasher729 says, it's the client's contract with your company that prevents them hiring you. You might be able to negotiate your way out of it with your company, getting your company to release the client from the deal.

However be aware that this is a high risk approach. The purpose of such terms is to prevent the client from cancelling the contract and then hiring all its employees to do the same work, cutting your company out.


Lots of possibilities, which you will never know because you're not privy to the company contract. Other answers already say this, so I'll just provide a bit of extra insight.

Quite possibly, even likely is that they don't want to hire you, they're saying that for reasons of their own, but have no intention of hiring you in reality and the contract is a good excuse.

If your current company is losing the contract and you're the one who does the work it makes no sense to hire you in some situations. But it does make sense to try and keep you happy for a bit so they can get everything terminated happily and cleanly.

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