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Hair dresser's non-compete clause enforced

In Lockworks, Ltd. v. Keegan, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and reinstated a non-compete agreement which a stylist admitted violating. Keegan had agreed not to compete with her employer for one year, within a five-mile radius, however, after quitting with Lockworks, she started cutting hair 4.16 miles away.  The Court decided that she cut things too close.

The unanimous court pointed out that while non-competes are not favored under public policy because they restrict competition, by statute they will be enforced if they are reasonably limited in duration, geographical area and line of business. (MCL 445.774a)  Since the time and distance involved here were relatively modest and the contstraints on Keegan were necessary to protect the Plaintiff's "normal base of clientele", the Appellate Court reversed the trial court and sent the case back for a determination of damages suffered during the restricted year.

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