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employment contracts

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I signed a 1 year + 1 year employment contract with a non-compete back in August, with the second year extension at my company's discretion.

Since then I've been offered another job that I would like to take. I need to ask my company to agree not to pick up my option for another year in August.

Any suggestions on how best to approach them on this subject? If they force me to stay, I will be unhappy, and why would they want to keep me around?
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayorc View Post
I signed a 1 year + 1 year employment contract with a non-compete back in August, with the second year extension at my company's discretion.

Since then I've been offered another job that I would like to take. I need to ask my company to agree not to pick up my option for another year in August.

Any suggestions on how best to approach them on this subject? If they force me to stay, I will be unhappy, and why would they want to keep me around?

Um...you can't be FORCED to work against your will - indentured servitude and all that. That said, there probably is some penalty for early termination - probably best to see what that penalty is.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyoung05 View Post
Um...you can't be FORCED to work against your will - indentured servitude and all that. That said, there probably is some penalty for early termination - probably best to see what that penalty is.

This. There's always an "out," it just might cost you in terms of year end bonus, payback of sign on bonus, part of any re-lo fees, etc. You did read your contract, and have an employment attorney read and advise you on it, prior to signing I hope?
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
This. There's always an "out," it just might cost you in terms of year end bonus, payback of sign on bonus, part of any re-lo fees, etc. You did read your contract, and have an employment attorney read and advise you on it, prior to signing I hope?

that^^
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
This. There's always an "out," it just might cost you in terms of year end bonus, payback of sign on bonus, part of any re-lo fees, etc. You did read your contract, and have an employment attorney read and advise you on it, prior to signing I hope?

Don't think he would be asking if saw one...
post #6 of 20
Non-compete clauses are illegal in CA.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon8 View Post
Non-compete clauses are illegal in CA.
This isn't so much about non-competes as it is about slavery. Besides, I don't think OP said he was from CA or another state that doesn't enforce non-competes, did he?
post #8 of 20
Are non-compete clauses really per se unenforcable in CA, or do they just have to be really limited and narrowly constructed to hold up?
post #9 of 20
Do what George Costanza did.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLantern View Post
Are non-compete clauses really per se unenforcable in CA, or do they just have to be really limited and narrowly constructed to hold up?

California. Business and Professions Code § 16600 provides 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."

In Morris v. Harris, a California court held that the section invalidates agreements that seek to prevent former employees from accepting work from any of the former employer's clients. Further, according to Diodes, Inc. v. Franzen, a former employee may also solicit employees from his or her former employer if unlawful means or acts of unfair competition are not used.
post #11 of 20
What about principals? For example, say I have a solo law practice that I sell - is it ineffective to include as part of the sale a provision that I am not allowed to open a practice within the same practice areas(say criminal defense) in the same geographic area (say, town) for a limited amount of time(say 2 years)?
post #12 of 20
What state are you in. That makes a big difference.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLantern View Post
What about principals? For example, say I have a solo law practice that I sell - is it ineffective to include as part of the sale a provision that I am not allowed to open a practice within the same practice areas(say criminal defense) in the same geographic area (say, town) for a limited amount of time(say 2 years)?

It's a little bit different for principals selling a business, because they have been (presumably) compensated in exchange for the agreement not to compete. Even in CA, I think you could structure it such that you couldn't invest in, or become a shareholder in, a competing entity for a period of time. This would effectively preclude you from opening a competing shop; but if you really wanted to practice, you could probably join another firm as a non-partner and be o.k.
post #14 of 20
Well, legal business aside, I would imagine that OP would rather not burn a bridge by getting out on a technicality.

What kind of relationship do you have with your employers? I think in this case, as in most (obvs not all) cases, honesty is the best policy. Explain to them that you there is an offer you would like to take and ask them if they would be willing not to pick up your option. Thank them for the time they employed you. I doubt they want someone working for them who doesn't want to be there.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayorc View Post
signed a 1 year + 1 year employment contract with a non-compete back in August, with the second year extension at my company's discretion.


Why the fuck did you sign such a one sided agreement? Did they pay you a ton of money?
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