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Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jdogsparky, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. jdogsparky

    jdogsparky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Has anyone worked for trugreen Chemlawn and had to deal with the non compete form they signed? Whether they went to another company or started their own business.
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I'm no lawyer. I hear it both ways. I hear they aren't worth the paper they're written on and the complete opposite. Here's what I do know... They can't stop you from making a living and providing for your family.They can stop you from doing it with their customers, whether you are on your own or with another company. If they can prove you came after their customers within a certain time, you could be in need of legal services. Good Luck!
  3. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    I second that, except usually if you are going to start your own buisness they can only tie you up for a certain radius from them, for so long. I think they do it so you dont do side work on the weekend and if you did they could fire you for the breach of the non complete clause
  4. Young Bros

    Young Bros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    I took my non compete from trugreen to a lawyer and he told me i could not compete for a year. I signed another non compete to a local company. I went to his competition and he said as long as i didnt take his customers, he would not sue. I am starting my own company, and still have year left on the local guy non compete. I will wait till that is up to take any of his customers.
  5. jdogsparky

    jdogsparky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Ya I am thinking of going to another company that does not make me sign a non compete for a year, then start my own business. I want to mow and fert, but I dont think i can get enough customers for mowing. Fert is were the money is at.
  6. Young Bros

    Young Bros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    I have worked for trugreen and 2 full service companies (mow, fert, landscape). The loot is definetly in spraying. My bro and I are starting a spraying business in 08, not going to monkey with mowing. Not enough profit, too much equipment to buy, in addition to the spray equipment.
  7. jdogsparky

    jdogsparky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thats why we are going to wait a year, or maybe take our chances with trugreen not suing us
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    I am Not a Ambulance Chaser Either.

    My take is as long as you are an Employee of a company not owned by you or where you are the CPO in Charge, True Green or any company can not enforce a Non Compete. You have a right to work and support your self and family. This goes for Plumbers, Electricians and Air Condition techs.

    In cases where your Wife starts a Company and you are the employee, the non compete must prove damages in a court of law. In most cases it costs too much money in Legal fees to pursue and most companies will not sue. What True Green will not tell you, They have lost Non Compete law suits.
  9. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    they have also won some cases as well.

    We have a direct competitor who was a trugreen employee (actually two of them, they are partners and both worked for thesame trugreen branch) Of course these guys stole hard copies of customer lists, have been sued for a fairly large sum of money (lots of rumors so I dont know excatly how much) and were court ordered to pull all their advertising in certain zip codes for five years.

    I certainly am not here to defend trugreen however we also have our employees sign noncompete agreements. We see it as a gentlemens agreement that the employee will not get buddy buddy with OUR customers only to STEAL them away for themselves. Anyone willing to sign a noncompete SHOULD honor it unless your word (signature) is crap and then you are a slimeball. We have not had a situation to date where we had to 'go after' an ex-employee....but we will full force if the situation arises.

    If ones intention is to get training while being paid so they can later start their own business, well they just need to follow the rules of the agreement they signed...or simply do not sign
    Really no different than following the rules of a product label
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    You have to look at the INTEND of the non-compete. It should not infringe on a man's right to earn a living. But at the same time protect his former employer from being ripped off of proprietary information. There in lies the true justice of a non compete. As a small operator, there is no way you can afford to enforce a non-compete. Even the big boys lose money in a non-compete law suit, but they gain a track record for other employees to see.

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