I wrote a few words below about non-compete agreements and their proliferation. Now comes a story about a company that must pay $4 Million for denying compensation to an executive who refused to sign a non-compete agreement. Articles about the case can be found here and here. In this particular situation, the employer (H&R Block) attempted to force its Chief Operating Office to sign a non-compete. When the executive refused, the company denied payment of stock options and refused to pay contractually obligated severance pay. The articles do not mention it, but presumably the company thought it could argue that refusal to sign the non-compete was sufficient cause to deny payment of the stock options and severance. The award includes $3.01 million in compensatory damages, $466,565 in interest, and $481,910 in attorney’s fees.