non-compete question* EDIT and bump | TigerDroppings.com

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JoseVargasTX
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2011
174 posts

non-compete question* EDIT and bump



I've been with my company for two years. I work from home in sales. They sent a non-compete to me through email in about my second month and asked me to sign it. I honestly forgot and never signed it.

I'm free and clear correct? Anything I should be concerned with if I leave current company?

Thanks!

*Edit:
Turns out when I did begin employment with this company, I did sign a "confidentiality agreement" with non-compete description in it. I have been notified by my old company that they think I'm in violation. My current partner and his company are backing me and defending me: Basically, "unclean hands" may be my defense here. Any advice or experience with this?



This post was edited on 2/15 at 11:37 am



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rmc
LSU Fan
Zachary, LA
Member since Sep 2004
22597 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


I would think you'd be in a good position as long as you didn't sign one at any other time like when you first started working there. Non-competes are notoriously hard to enforce and have to be very limited in scope to be allowed. Courts err on the side of letting an individual make a living.


This post was edited on 1/18 at 7:37 am


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Bmath
LSU Fan
TX
Member since Aug 2010
7133 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


I signed one with my current company. Talked to my sister-in-law attorney about it, and said they generally aren't worth the paper they are written on.

It is essentially a scare tactic to try and get you to not take a job with a rival firm.

However, they do protect against using proprietary information to harm the company.






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AbsolutTiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2006
4460 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

I signed one with my current company. Talked to my sister-in-law attorney about it, and said they generally aren't worth the paper they are written on.


She's right.






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GaryMyMan
USA Fan
Lower Garden District
Member since May 2007
10828 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

However, they do protect against using proprietary information to harm the company.

That and your book of business. A company doesn't really care that much if you go work for their rival, but if you take their clients with you then they start getting upset.






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OTIS2
LSU Fan
NoLA
Member since Jul 2008
27665 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

A company doesn't really care that much if you go work for their rival, but if you take their clients with you then they start getting upset.
Fair statement. And, how many departing employees wish to pay the 5 to 10 thousand in legal fees it may take (or more) to win (or lose) the battle. If possible get the new employer to agree at hiring to foot that bill, if the need arises.






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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
71816 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


what if you start your own LLC on the side in the same industry and do work in your free time but don't try to steal clients your primary business already has?





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elposter
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
8630 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

the 5 to 10 thousand in legal fees it may take (or more)


Oh, it's usually A LOT more. 5 to 10 thousand will get you through the initial pleadings filed with the court probably.

To the OP, enforceability of non-competes vary from state to state. True "non-competes" are difficult to enfore, but non-solicitation (i.e., of clients) and other measures to protect the book of business and/or proprietary information are usually enforceable to some degree.

If you didn't sign anything you should be fine to do what you want although the company's trade secrets are protected from theft / unauthorized use by statute (no contract needed). Usually just a list of client names and contact information is not going to rise to the level of a trade secret though.






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JoseVargasTX
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2011
174 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


*Edit:
Turns out when I did begin employment with this company, I did sign a "confidentiality agreement" with non-compete description in it. I have been notified by my old company that they think I'm in violation. My current partner and his company are backing me and defending me: Basically, "unclean hands" may be my defense here. Any advice or experience with this?







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jcole4lsu
Virginia Fan
The Kwisatz Haderach
Member since Nov 2007
27111 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


are you currently in texas, and are both jobs in texas? if so, tell your old job to shove it.
non competes are very difficult to enforce in texas, however there are some limited scope agreements that are enforceable.

example of an enforceable agreement:
you cannot sell widgets in san antonio for a period of one year after leaving company A

example of trash:
you cannot sell widgets in texas for a period of 10 years after leaving company A






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tigerfoot
LA-Monroe Fan
Alexandria
Member since Sep 2006
18804 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


My friend in Texas left our company. His was upheld by the courts and he had to stop working for ayear. Undoubtedly his was enforceable. I hear alot of people say they aren't worth the paper they are printed on, yet have seen them upheld in LA, TX, Ark, and MS.







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Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2006
19723 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

My friend in Texas left our company. His was upheld by the courts and he had to stop working for ayear. Undoubtedly his was enforceable. I hear alot of people say they aren't worth the paper they are printed on, yet have seen them upheld in LA, TX, Ark, and MS.


As jcole stated, it is all about scope. A very narrow scope non-compete has a better chance of being enforceable than a broad one (which will get tossed).



This post was edited on 2/15 at 9:48 pm


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hugo
LSU Fan
CenLa
Member since Sep 2007
668 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


Former coworker of mine had one. They listed specific parishes he couldn't work in. He left for another job, next state over and even though he wasn't even in louisiana anymore the old company sent him a letter to "remind" him of his no compete agreement.





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JoseVargasTX
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2011
174 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


I left, opened my own company, and have been sent a letter to stop doing the work I'm doing. I assume a court date is next. My partner has a strong defense team and is ready to roll. Former company hasn't paid my health account reimbursement yet nor my final commission check, which is over due.

One of the former company's owners was in town visiting customers last week and went as far as to tell them the reason I left is that they didn't support me and they have no one to blame but themselves. Several of my customers told the owners of the former company while I was employed there that they needed to do things differently to keep their business and the former owners did nothing, hence, why I left.

Add to that, this is the staffing industry and when paying field employees, they are paying them $20 an hour per say, but breaking the pay up to $15 base and a $5 per diem so they don't have to pay taxes on the whole $20. They are doing this without telling the field employee and without telling their customers. I think this has to be illegal and another reason why I left this company. My hope is that this helps get me out of my confidentiality that has a lot of non-compete language in it.






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jcole4lsu
Virginia Fan
The Kwisatz Haderach
Member since Nov 2007
27111 posts

re: non-compete question* EDIT and bump


quote:

Former company hasn't paid my health account reimbursement yet nor my final commission check, which is over due.

and they want to sue you? LOL.
rule #1: come to court with clean hands

Having not read the agreement no one here will be able to provide an informed opinion, but given the information we have thus far I would say you are in a very good position.


eta: are you sure about the information in the OP regarding two separate documents being sent to you? If you really did sign a binding non-compete when you started, why would they send you a new one a couple months later?

Are you able to find the old agreement and if so can you provide some of the general language?
ie length of non compete and areas included



This post was edited on 2/16 at 3:01 pm


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