(Closed) Non-Compete?

posted 8 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

First the normal disclaimer: without looking at the contract NO ONE can tell you what the deal with HIS non-compete is. 

But usually… non-competes are limited by two factors 1) location and 2) time. Generally location will be a radius around where his current company is located… either that city or within 50 miles or whatever. Time is generally within x months of leaving… it does not usually expire after working at a company for so long. So it might say something like, Mr. KJPugs cannot work in a company doing substantially the same job (there should be some definition of what is covered here) within 50 miles of whoville for at least 24 months after leaving The Company. 

So I guess there are three things he should probably look for. 

1) what is the job he has agreed not to take? 

2) where has he agreed not to work?

3) for how long after he leaves? 

 

If all three of those factors are against him I’d say he maybe has two options. The first (best) option is to take his contract to a lawyer to see if there are any loopholes. If he’s not willing to do that, and he believes that he’d be violating his contract to go work for company B, a last resort might be to level with his bosses. Are they good people? If they really NEVER compete for jobs, might they be okay letting him move on? They have to know he won’t work for them forever right? 

Post # 4
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

CorgiTales gave a very good and thorough answer, and I echo all of that plus her disclaimer (and add the disclaimer that I’m obviously not your lawyer).  I’ll just expand a little bit on her answer.

Sometimes employers write non-compete agreements in ways that are overly broad, knowing they wouldn’t actually hold up.  Like, they might say the employee can never engage in this type of work again anywhere in the country.  I don’t think any court would uphold something that broad, but an employee just reading it without consulting a lawyer might think it could actually be applied in that way.

So basically, what I’m saying is that even when you find and read the non-compete, even if it seems like it would cover his new job because it’s so broad, you should still see a lawyer to ask about how it would actually be applied.

Also, somewhat random question: why does he have to sneak around to look for the agreement in his work file?  Does he not want his employers to know he’s looking at other jobs?  Because if he’s at all open to it, I would also agree with CorgiTales’s advice to talk to his employers and see if they would be flexible (but of course get anything they agree to in writing!).

Post # 5
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I agree with the above posters. He may have a way out/or arund the non-compete clause if overly restrictive and leaves him with no options for employment.

Post # 6
Member
572 posts
Busy bee

I would just ask his employers for a copy of the agreement. Then sit down with them and discuss the matter. Everyone has given very sound advice.

Post # 9
Member
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It sounds like your husband is in a very similar work environment to my own.

I’m assuming everyone received the same non-compete. Is there anyone he’s close with who might have a copy of theirs he can look at?

Post # 10
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Hmm, that’s really tough.  I honestly can’t think of any reason he could give.  Bree72 has a good idea of asking other employees.  Or could he just say that with the new(ish) marriage he’s trying to get all his files in order and wants to get copies of his work files?  It’s kind of a lame excuse, but I can’t think of anything else.

The other thing I noticed from your second post is that you said you doubt they could fire him for looking at other jobs.  Just to warn you, unless there’s an employment contract, I assume he’s an at-will employee which means they can fire him for any reason (unless it’s a discriminatory reason, like his race, etc.).  So if they wanted to be really nasty, they could possibly fire him for it.  Not to be a Debbie Downer, just wanted to let you know.

Post # 11
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Just one more little thing to add… IF they did fire him it MIGHT solve the problem. Once again– he really needs to look at that contract (and ideally have a lawyer look at it). But sometimes noncompetes only apply if an employee left voluntarily. 

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