non compete contracts

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenmonster304, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,162

    As some of you may remember I started the process of going on my own, i bought some equipment, incorporated, and gave my notice to my current employer. everything has been going well with my boss we are still working together. but today he hands me a non compete contract and says i need to sign it by the end of the week. i didn't sign a contract when I was hired so i think the point is moot. I am under know obligation to sign anything I think. but i also have know intentions of soliciting his customers anyway. What do you guys think? Does any one have any experience with this sort of thing?
     
  2. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    You are correct, you are under no obligation to sign anything, that should have been set forth when hired and or at the beginning of each season. Express to him that you have no intentions of soliciting his customers and let him know that you are staying around and helping him find a replacement and that if you were going to screw him that you would have just left. I think that he is starting to get worried and that his attempt to get you to sign a noncompete is his way of trying to feel reassured that he is going to maintain his customer base when you leave.
     
  3. Dennis Spencer

    Dennis Spencer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    I agree you have no obligation with him now.Your intentions are great so stay with them. He may lose some customers that you will pick up thats ok. I do think you should keep a good relationship with him.
     
  4. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 758

    NEVER sign a non compete contract in you want to keep working in the same industry!
     
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    This is ironic. I was searching online today, not so much for a non-compete, but kind of what you are saying, a non-solicitation of customers. I just didn't know what to call it when searching. I have put together an employee manual, and want to start protecting my company. I don't care if any employee goes on their own, and if they wanted to do it, I would probably help them in some way (after replacing them). But yes, I am looking for some kind of non-solicitation of customers form if anyone has one.
     
  6. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Depends on the contract, personally I will not hire anyone without them signing one. Mine only covers my customer base, unlike some in other industries that actually limit future employment with competitors and such or ones when a owner is bought out and it covers not working in the industry for a specific time within x amount of miles from x location.
     
  7. IRRIG8TION

    IRRIG8TION LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    A covenant not to complete, or what is known as a non compete is a very difficult subject. In the green industry, you can have your employees sign one, but it is basically not enforceable. The issue is that you can not limit a person the ability to earn an income. You can use a contract forbidding the soliciting of your customers, the methods you use to get pricing, your sources & suppliers, any trade secrets & pricing lists. A few other key areas. You can not force an employee to go into a different industry if they quit. They could go to work for your biggest competitor the next day, and there is not a thing you can do about it, I don't care how good your lawyer is or how big your non compete contract is. It is different in the sale of a business. You can get a non compete for x number of years within a distance of x miles from you and it is enforceable. State laws vary a lot in this area as well. It is a very good idea to have a labor lawyer write your company policy and hand book.
     
  8. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Well, it looks like the same exact things are being repeated regarding the non compete.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,070

    Which are?
     
  10. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    You can not force an employee to go into a different industry if they quit. They could go to work for your biggest competitor the next day, and there is not a thing you can do about it, I don't care how good your lawyer is or how big your non compete contract is. It is different in the sale of a business. You can get a non compete for x number of years within a distance of x miles from you and it is enforceable.

    unlike some in other industries that actually limit future employment with competitors and such or ones when a owner is bought out and it covers not working in the industry for a specific time within x amount of miles from x location.

    And that it is best on protect your specific company interests. Anymore questions Mike.
     

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