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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Slacking off right now
    Hey Guys I want your feed back regarding employment contracts specifically how enforcable are they?

    a specific clause like: if you leave employment from said company you cannot work for yourself or another company for a period of 1 yr following the day you leave.

    Is this kind of clause enforcable anywhere? can they try to just to cost you money for lawyers?

    If a guy has only worked in one field all his life eg hvac/refrigeration, can they stop him from continiouing to do so?

    Has any employer successfully enforced this recently?
    Is this clause just hot air? - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Omaha, NE
    You'd have to consult an employment attorney with the specifics of the situation to get a really good answer but generally an employer would have to prove that you (the employee) have secret, proprietary information or methods that would harm his business if you were to use it to compete against him, or disclose to another competitor. Check out the links below and you will have a much better feel for how the courts look at non-compete (restrictive convenant) agreements.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I about got caught in one of those employment contracts-----talked about hourly wage and agreed on a figure.
    When I saw the contract it was for"billable" hours.
    I walked!!
    The company had been running an add for some time ---now I can see why. READ THE FINE PRINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    New Mexico
    My understanding is an employer cannot forbid you from earning a living. A fast food franchise in NM tried that with their employees and it didn't fly. If this is your profession you have a right to survive. What an employer can do is ask you to agree not to steal their customers with a non competative agreement but it should have date parameters included in the agreement. Like maybe 5 years. I even heard of one contractor that sent his tech to a 3 day semenar and asked him to sign an agreement that if he left the company before a stated time the employee would have to pay for the seminar. Geezeee. Would you rather have untrained techs that didn't leave?
    "What Fools these mortals be"....Puck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    if you signed such an agreement, you REALLY need to consult w/an attorney.

    usually a non-compete clause gives a certain distance away that you cannot work/compete.

    just as any other contract you have signed in your life, this is enforcable. you agreed to the terms. see a qualified pro.

    good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    25+ years ago I sold out my share of a HVAC/R company to my ex partner. In the agreement we had and I consented to a non-contracting competative clause with in a 50 mile radius for 2 years.

    I did go to work for a competator of his as a pipefitter. After I got my wits about me and decided it was time for me to start contracting again, I moved out of town. I only had 6 months left but I felt moving would give me a fresh start.

    I wanted to make sure there was no friction with my ex partner so I made sure that I followed the agreement. If you make an agreement and you break an agreement then be able to pay the price.

    Unless you are going to be part owner of a company I would not reccomend signing any non-competative clause. An hourly employee is just that. If you are willing to be a confidant of the business than you can be expected to sign a non competative agreement. "You ain't leaving with the company secrets Pal!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Middletown, Ohio, United States
    This employment/non-compete garbage is pretty much that.
    Been told that by attorneys. Nearly impossible to litigate. An individual has the right to work wherever he so desires in order to advance himself. Now if an individual was to leave a company and actively solicit
    his former employer's customers there might be some problems. But my understanding is that even this would be
    extremely hard to prosecute as the customer, likewise,
    has the right to switch HVAC companies if not satisfied.

    This non-compete stuff seems to be more bark than bite. My view is that it is an intimidation tool that some companies use to frighten employees into staying with them.
    Whereas, if these companies would treat their employees in a fair and equitable manner, they wouldn't have to worry about turnover and non-compete. But maybe it's cheaper to
    intimidate than accomodate a positive work environment.

  8. #8
    My opinion of anything writen by the employer is to do two things.

    First to pur in print what they have in mind for your work and compensation.

    Second, to hopefully use it to their advantage if a matter goes before the labor board.

    It is rarely to the advantage of the employee to have it in writting what he or she is under agreement to do. Simply because an employer will either dishonor the written agreement at their whim and or dishonor the employee by NOT giving them their due.

    It is best to simply state what your expectations are with your employer and let your "Yes" be YES and your "No" be NO!
    How they treat you after that is up to them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Burleson, Texas
    Woudnt a non-compete clause, if violated would be a civil matter and the company would have to show a net loss, to gain anything from you if you violated it...

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