this proposed law would now be watered down to the point that it will have little impact over its current misuse. With no protection for those making over $100K, mid level managment and design staff is stuck with the same restraint of trade. I would support noncompetes if there was a compensation package after leaving employment to mitigate the employees position of needing to screen future jobs for possible conflict. Non-competes should include a reasonable geographic limitation and in the case of employees working in a specialized field the companies that would conflict with the non-compete should be listed. If there are ten companies withing twenty-five miles that are “competition” what am I to do for a job? The number of “conflicts” shoud be limited to one or two with conflict area called out in detail so as to be defended in legal action later.
The new law should be very specific as to what constitutes “competition”. “Trade secrets” and “confidential information” can taken to extreem levels where all contact with current customers are frozen out even if a prior knowledge of these customers existed before employment. The same is true for “trade secrets”. Some companies consider all the work done as a trade secret even if it comes from accepted general knowledge.
Thanks for speaking out!
Please work through the legislation more carefully and consider its impact on current practice. For example, you say that non-competes should include a reasonable geographic limitation. The legislation specifically requires this. For another, existing defenses for employees are specifically preserved in the legislation and existing law allows employees to be in touch with customers that they brought into their employment. One of the most powerful provisions is the mandatory award of attorneys fees in favor of employees in cases where an agreement is found to have been unfair to them. That will give employers huge incentive to impose only fair and necessary terms.
I think you’ll find a lot to like in the legislation if you study it and we would especially appreciate feedback that ties directly to the language of the legislation.
Keep it coming!
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