On the record before the Court, Golden waived any and all rights to employment with CEP or at any facility that CEP may own or with which it may contract in the future. When the parties reduced the agreement to writing, Golden refused to sign and attempted to have the agreement set aside. The district court rejected this effort, and Golden appealed. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding as follows:
Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code instructs that “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” Section 16600 does not merely prohibit covenants not to compete. It is broadly drawn, with limited exceptions, to void all contracts that restrain the lawful pursuit of a profession, trade, or business.
On this basis, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court and remanded for the district court to "determine in the first instance whether the no-employment provision constitutes a restraint of a substantial character to Dr. Golden’s medical practice."
The opinion is available here.