I just wanted to seek your professional opinion on this. I worked as IT head for a retail (mens and womens apparel) company for 5 years and just transferred to to another retail company also as IT head. The new company sells multiple brands namely cosmetics, footwear, lingerie and womens apparel. My clearance was processed and i received my last pay. Yesterday, i received a letter (thru registered mail) from a law office demanding that I cease to work with the new employer and pay damages of 3 million due to breach of contract. It states that it is included in my employment contract that i may not work for other companies with the same nature (retail) and/or direct competitor for a period of 1 year upon resignation.
I just wanted to know if this holds water as the employment contract that i signed wasnt explained to me (just handed by HR as SOP). My new company isnt a direct competitor of the former but is in the same business of retail. Can they really use that against me and ask for damages? Also, it seems like I am being singled out since i know of plenty of other employees who transferred to direct competitors but were not sent demand letters. In fact one former co-worker (brand manager) is now working with me here also (as brand manager) but never got a demand letter.
Kindly advise me please.