I am a resident of Massachusetts and work for a company based on Texas. I work remotely as a Life Insurance consultant and am placed in long term positions with client companies. I signed a non-compete contract that states that I cannot accept a job from a client company for 12 months after my employment ends with my current employer. The issue is, I currently have a title and an hourly rate but my current consulting assignment is ending and my employer does not have another full time assignment for me so I was told that I will have to accept unemployment until they find a new assignment or I will have to be dropped down to part time status and become fee based until they find a new assignment. In addition, I am told that I cannot apply any client companies. My current employer is willing to drop my status to part time or lay me off instead of allowing me to accept gainful employment.
Of note, I started out a the company as a part time fee based consultant. I was made to sign the non-compete only when I went full time. If they drop me back to part time for no reason of my own, can they still enforce the non-compete? Also, can they just drop me back to part time status automatically or do I have to accept that as the employee. Do I have any recourse?