Ann Kiernan replies:
At-will employment has nothing to do with non-compete agreements, which come into effect only after the employment relationship has been terminated. Non-competition agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, are enforceable in most states, including Texas, which has a Covenants Not to Compete Act. Under the Act, a covenant not to compete may be enforceable if it is reasonable in time, geographic coverage, and scope of the activity to be restrained. For instance, the contract should not vaguely bar all competitive activity or prohibit activity unrelated to the work the employee preformed for the former employer, or purport to have nation-wide applicability when the employee did not have nation-wide responsibilities.
For more information about your particular situation, you should consult a local employment lawyer. If you do not know one, you could contact your county bar association, or check the Texas listings of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Good luck.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.