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employment contracts

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by yayorc, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. yayorc

    yayorc Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  4. ter1413

    ter1413 Well-Known Member

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    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^^
     
  5. Hombre Secreto

    Hombre Secreto Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  6. dragon8

    dragon8 Well-Known Member

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    Non-compete clauses are illegal in CA.
     
  7. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  8. RedLantern

    RedLantern Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  9. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Well-Known Member

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    Do what George Costanza did.
     
  10. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. RedLantern

    RedLantern Well-Known Member

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    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)?
     
  12. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

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    What state are you in. That makes a big difference.
     
  13. tj100

    tj100 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  14. munchausen

    munchausen Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  15. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  16. yayorc

    yayorc Well-Known Member

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  17. Eponym

    Eponym Well-Known Member

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    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.



    That's very interesting. Was this a decision from the Supreme Court of California?

    In my experience (Ohio law), a complaint for breach of a non-compete goes hand in hand with a claim of misappropriation of trade secrets. If one doesn't get you, the other will.
     
  18. scurvyfreedman

    scurvyfreedman Well-Known Member

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    This is not slavery or indentured servitude. It is a question of specific performance of a personal services contract, which is not enforceable under contract law. However, there can be liquidated damages and/or equitalbe damages awarded by a third party. Most employment contracts have a mandatory arbitration clause.
     
  19. dragon8

    dragon8 Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting. Was this a decision from the Supreme Court of California?

    In my experience (Ohio law), a complaint for breach of a non-compete goes hand in hand with a claim of misappropriation of trade secrets. If one doesn't get you, the other will.


    Yes, CA Supreme Court.
     
  20. seeker24

    seeker24 New Member

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    Get a lawyer friend to review the contract with you. there's gotta be a loophole somewhere.
     

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