Socko. v. Mid-Atantic Systems of CPA, Inc. (majority)Annotate this Case
Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc. hired Appellee David Socko in March 2007 as a salesperson. Socko executed a two-year employment contract containing a covenant not to compete. In February 2009, Socko resigned from his employment with Mid-Atlantic, but the company rehired him four months later, in June 2009. At his time of rehire, Socko signed a new employment agreement containing another two-year covenant not to compete. While still employed by Mid-Atlantic, in 2010, Socko signed a third, more restrictive “Non-Competition Agreement,” which, by its terms, superseded all prior agreements. Pursuant to the Agreement (at issue in this appeal), Socko was not permitted to compete with Mid-Atlantic for two years after the termination of his employment in any of the locations Mid-Atlantic did business: Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Agreement also expressly provided for the application of Pennsylvania law, and stated that the parties intended to be “legally bound.” The issue this case presented for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s review was one of first impression: whether the enforcement of an employment agreement containing a restrictive covenant not to compete, entered into after the commencement of employment, could be challenged by an employee for a lack of consideration, where the agreement, by its express terms, stated that the parties “intend to be legally bound,” which language implicated the insulating effect of the Uniform Written Obligations Act (“UWOA”). After review, the Supreme Court concluded that an employee was not precluded from challenging such an agreement executed pursuant to the UWOA.