Non-compete fee when moving from contractor to client company as full time employee

my contractor employer told me that if I am moving to same client where I was working as a contractor as a full time employee then I need to pay non-compete fee to them as signed by me.

How do I navigate this situation. On one hand it hurts that they would screw me over and take my money after all that I have done for them(sharing my salary for many months with them) but I also wanna get out of it with little money damage as possible. What should I do ?

Disclaimer: I’m not an immigration attorney.

I was in same situation and consulted an attorney in my state specialized in employment agreement and non compete areas.

I suggest you do the same and get some professional advice. It’s money well spent and peace of mind when professional reviews and gives you advice.