Jordan, a pastry chef, accepted a job with a well-known and profitable pastry shop located in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon taking the job, she signed an employment contract, which contained, among other provisions, a non-disclosure clause and a covenant not to compete. The covenant not to compete prevented Jordan from working as a pastry chef in the Boston area for a six month period, should her employment terminate for any reason. After eight months on the job, Jordan, left her position claiming that she was being sexually harassed by a co-worker and her employer failed to take steps to prevent the harassment. Jordan had another job lined up at small pastry shop located in the North End of Boston and was set to start work immediately. If Jordan goes to work for the new pastry shop, can her prior employer sue her for breach of the covenant not to compete?
From the given information, it can be highlighted that Jordan did not leave the job under normal circumstances. Her work surrounding was increasingly becoming unsafe for her to perform her duties in a safe and secured environment. Adding to this, the employer did not take any confidence building measures. The employer's inaction compelled Jordan to leave her work as there was no other option left. The covenant signed at the time of the joining is valid under normal circumstances. The employer can still sue Jordan but Jordan has a strong case with compelling evidence and just circumstances. Jordan has all the right to start her new job as her livelihood got disrupted under extraordinary circumstances for which she even didn't get the necessary support from her employer.
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