A non-compete agreement can be against your right to make a living. Several states, notably Texas and California, have found many of these agreements to be invalid because they severely restrict the former employee from making a living in his or her industry.
However, this decision usually must be made by a judge. The employer must be able to protect his or her company from employees who purposely provide confidential information to a competitor as a way to get even. The law balances the employee’s need to make a living with the employer’s need to protect the company.