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CBramble
05-24-2006, 12:37 PM
Quick question for those who have employees. When you hire them do you make them sign a non-compete clause? In this business especially, I think you'd be crazy not to. They work for your company for a year or two learn the trade then they start their own company and now are competing with you....

Freddy_Kruger
05-24-2006, 12:40 PM
Thats BS!

I would tell a potential employer to stick his job where the sun....

I did sign one when I bought a franchise but I've never even heard of such a thing for a simply employee. I bet its not even legal up in canada.

I've always had my side jobs while working for others right from teh time I was 15.

CBramble
05-24-2006, 12:48 PM
Its not BS if your the owner of the company and have worked your @ss off to get where you are at.

fulano
05-24-2006, 12:49 PM
I would do it(if I had a real lawn care business) but how are you going to collect money from an illegal mexican, drunk middle aged white guy who is on the verge of bankruptcy, college kid living on grants and loans or a teenager that is using you for a summer job?

CBramble
05-24-2006, 12:57 PM
OK? Do we even know what a non compete is? Apparently not...:hammerhead:

I don't have time to explain...got work to do!

Freddy_Kruger
05-24-2006, 12:59 PM
Its not BS if your the owner of the company and have worked your @ss off to get where you are at.
It is bs. Its none of your business what ppl do, being an LCO doesn't give you the right to restrict peoples freedom. They work for you What? they can't work in the field for anyone else or themselves?

I'm guessing that since america is a free land that you can't enforce such a thing on an employee. I bet they can not only start their own business (even while working for you) but they can try and steal your customers and all you can to is fire them (plus whine and moan on a forum).

It's like a line out of a corny movie, "you'll never work in this town again" lol.

fulano
05-24-2006, 01:00 PM
OK? Do we even know what a non compete is? Apparently not...:hammerhead:

I don't have time to explain...got work to do!

Is that aimed at me? Do you expect everyone who signs it to obey the contract? If they don't then see my above post.

Freddy_Kruger
05-24-2006, 01:06 PM
Is that aimed at me? Do you expect everyone who signs it to obey the contract? If they don't then see my above post.
It was aimed at you and I can't understand what you're talking about either lol.

A non compete clause means that if you get a job and then you quit or get fired you cant work in the same field (field of work, now mexican vegitable pickers field) for a set time and it usually has a zone around the entire area where you live. They use it for franchise operators a lot. mine was for 2 or 3 years and 25 km radius of my city. But I have never heard of such a thing for a regular employee. Sounds like bs to me.

dkeisala
05-24-2006, 01:17 PM
It was aimed at you and I can't understand what you're talking about either lol.

A non compete clause means that if you get a job and then you quit or get fired you cant work in the same field (field of work, now mexican vegitable pickers field) for a set time and it usually has a zone around the entire area where you live. They use it for franchise operators a lot. mine was for 2 or 3 years and 25 km radius of my city. But I have never heard of such a thing for a regular employee. Sounds like bs to me.

My brother-in-law is a painter for a large firm in Oregon. He had to sign a non-compete clause when he got the job several years ago. He works relatively independantly and is the point guy for large, repeat commercial projects. The company he works for basically doesn't want their key people going out on their own and taking their customers with them.

Nobody forces you to sign them, you have a choice in matter just like you have a choice whether or not you want the job. Don't want to sign one? Go work for someone else.

Enforcement is another issue. The chances of an employee starting a large scale operation are about as close to zero as you can get. Chasing after a small scale operator would be both a waste of time and money. A non-compete clause would basically bar someone from taking your clients.

fulano
05-24-2006, 01:22 PM
So, you hire a college kid and have him sign a non-compete contract. That college kid goes out and mows a few lawns. You find out. What are you going to do? Sue him? Spend several hundred dollars on a lawyer to find out he doesn't have any money and won't be making any for another 5 years. My point is that just because you have a non-compete contract doesn't mean an employee or ex-employee isn't going to compete.

Freddy_Kruger
05-24-2006, 01:27 PM
Enforcement is another issue.
Is it legally binding for an employee? I know it is for franchises but I've never heard of an $8/hr lawn mower pusher being forced out the field of work over such a thing. If it violates people's rights it not legally binding.

dkeisala
05-24-2006, 01:36 PM
So, you hire a college kid and have him sign a non-compete contract. That college kid goes out and mows a few lawns. You find out. What are you going to do? Sue him? Spend several hundred dollars on a lawyer to find out he doesn't have any money and won't be making any for another 5 years. My point is that just because you have a non-compete contract doesn't mean an employee or ex-employee isn't going to compete.

Look, it'd have to be on a case by case basis. The college kid? No, but if your business is established and you have a lead person that's been with you for a few years, is the contact person for your clients, who you've trained to manage field and equipment operations, etc., etc., etc., you might want to consider it.

Say you have a large commercial client. Your key employee is tight with the property superivisor. Your key employee decides to go out on his own and guess who his first client is? That's right, your now ex-client. A non-compete clause in this case would allow you to sue for damages. And yes, as in considering any lawsuit you first have to look at whether or not the person has anything to attach in order to make it worthwhile.

dkeisala
05-24-2006, 01:38 PM
Is it legally binding for an employee? I know it is for franchises but I've never heard of an $8/hr lawn mower pusher being forced out the field of work over such a thing. If it violates people's rights it not legally binding.

Of course it is but like I said, you probably wouldn't waste such matters on low-level employees. They're meant for key people that tend to have more authority.

fulano
05-24-2006, 01:42 PM
Is it legally binding for an employee? I know it is for franchises but I've never heard of an $8/hr lawn mower pusher being forced out the field of work over such a thing. If it violates people's rights it not legally binding.

If you're the dope who signs a contract that states something like you may not own a lco, be partners in a lco, solicite work for a lco, be employed with any other lco, or receive money for mowing grass anywhere within 50 miles of the city for a period of 5 yrs that is your fault. You can always get a job doing something else. Your choices would be file a lawsuit and fight the contract. Break the contract if you have no money because what is the person going to do that is holding the contract over you. Buy your way out of the contract.

The reason you have never heard of an $8/hr worker getting pushed out is because people who make $8/hr do not usually have assets to make it worth while to go after.

dkeisala
05-24-2006, 01:42 PM
And remember, you can be sued even if you have nothing. A lien can follow you for a lifetime. People tend to accumulate property as they age. If someone is ferocious enough and renews that lien every 7 years eventually someone is getting money from you. It may be after your dead and gone but that person, or their estate, will get paid.

AintNoFun
05-24-2006, 02:34 PM
And remember, you can be sued even if you have nothing. A lien can follow you for a lifetime. People tend to accumulate property as they age. If someone is ferocious enough and renews that lien every 7 years eventually someone is getting money from you. It may be after your dead and gone but that person, or their estate, will get paid.


exactly also in NJ that lien would be building interest as well! for all you guys saying its stupid, you might have to think a little bigger than your 40 lawns.. my cousin doesn't have a landscaping business but is in the heavy construction business and makes his employees sign a non compete and a NDA (non disclosure agreement) i think it is absolutely necessary to have someone sign (not a laborer but a foreman, manager, estimator, etc.) he has gone to court over his key men working for other companies. he said the judges never really ruled in favor or against them because the judge said you can't stop a man from making a living/working... i think if you could prove damages it'd be an open and shut case....

dkeisala
05-24-2006, 02:47 PM
exactly also in NJ that lien would be building interest as well! for all you guys saying its stupid, you might have to think a little bigger than your 40 lawns.. my cousin doesn't have a landscaping business but is in the heavy construction business and makes his employees sign a non compete and a NDA (non disclosure agreement) i think it is absolutely necessary to have someone sign (not a laborer but a foreman, manager, estimator, etc.) he has gone to court over his key men working for other companies. he said the judges never really ruled in favor or against them because the judge said you can't stop a man from making a living/working... i think if you could prove damages it'd be an open and shut case....

I think your probably right, no judge is going to keep someone from working. Non-competes, non-disclosures, trademark secrets, intellectual property and all that really are for big business or fast growing small businesses with a lot of capital on the line. This is an interesting discussion but I really don't think most of us have to worry about it.

LushGreenLawn
05-24-2006, 03:17 PM
I am a very small operator, but I recently hired an employee and had him sign an agreement that states he would not market services to any of my existing clients, or perform services for existing clients, but I did not include a clause to prevent him from starting his own lawncare company.

MarcSmith
05-24-2006, 04:19 PM
WhenI worked for TGLC I had to sign a non compete. in theory This should have prevented an employee from mining information and then taking a job with another company and turning over that information. IT makes good business to protect yourself and your client list. We had crew guys at TGLC who where fired for doing commericial side work as they were in direct violation of their non-compete clause.

Enforcing it and showing monetary damages are the hard part....

Iknow if I had crews out working and they were doing side jobs for my current customers or picking up side business which woudl be in direct competition to my current work. Id be pissed, enough to fire yes, enough to sue...probably not...

AdamChrap
05-24-2006, 05:31 PM
Is it legally binding for an employee? I know it is for franchises but I've never heard of an $8/hr lawn mower pusher being forced out the field of work over such a thing. If it violates people's rights it not legally binding.
It is binding i had to sign one when i worked for a factory one winter. Alot of guys do the me here and I do as well. Mine donot say you can't work for a LCO just that you can't own one withing 50miles of me. It is a smart thing. One guy here I know has had 3 guys go off and start there own biz. They toke all his work because they know the jobs and how long it takes. I think there is nothing wrong with this.

Freddy_Kruger
05-24-2006, 08:10 PM
It is binding i had to sign one when i worked for a factory one winter. Alot of guys do the me here and I do as well. Mine donot say you can't work for a LCO just that you can't own one withing 50miles of me. It is a smart thing. One guy here I know has had 3 guys go off and start there own biz. They toke all his work because they know the jobs and how long it takes. I think there is nothing wrong with this.
Hmm.. doesnt sound so bad now, lol.

TurfProSTL
05-25-2006, 11:46 PM
I've signed a few over the years, signed one for my present position.

I think they're good protection for a business owner, to prevent an employee from taking a customer list or hard-core targeting of your customers after they leave.

However, I don't think a judge anywhere would allow you to prevent a person from making a living working in the industry he is trained in.....

lawnservice
05-26-2006, 07:47 AM
Quick question for those who have employees. When you hire them do you make them sign a non-compete clause? In this business especially, I think you'd be crazy not to. They work for your company for a year or two learn the trade then they start their own company and now are competing with you....
yes

we do 'in house' training...our training methods are very effective and took several years to develop.....these are our methods and not to be shared with others. signing a non compete spells this out very clearly

our guys work alone. they jump into the truck and off they go to service the route the company has put them in charge of. these employees could very easily develop personal relationships with the company's customers....which might lead to them hijacking the company's customers if they ever decide to leave the company....a non compete spells this out very clearly.

if (has happened only once in my time with this company) a potential employee tells us to stick our noncompete....well, that shows us the 'true' character of that person and we show them the door

a non compete is not used to stop someone from doing a little work on the side (although this is not encouraged) but rather to protect the company

luminarias
06-10-2006, 02:52 AM
I dont make employees sign a NonCompete clause. I know my customers wont leave me because of me and the care giving to them. The only person I required to sign a non-compete was the guy I bought the business from.