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no compete clause for employees?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Guido, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Awesome post, thanks for all the great info and YES I would love to see your contract and anyone else's for that matter. He wants to get some idea's together before e goes to the attorney for the final draft (save some $$)

    On the rest of this, I agree with Stonehenge, but youhave to remember what kind of stunts people in Florida can pull and get away with! ;)

    Thanks for all the input guys, keep it coming!
  2. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    I worked for a large company, making plastic . They made us sign a 2 yr no compete basically stating we couldn't work in plastics for 2 yrs. Another company opened up,paid more + everybody started going to work there. The no compete was useless, you can't stop someone from bettering themselves. The only thing it would have prevented was taking there customers.I believe a no compete would be a great deterrant(SP) but much harder to enforce. In court there's more ways for employee to get out of it.
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I understand he can't stop them from working for another landscape company, he was hoping it would float though if the guy decided he was going to start up on his own.

    I believe your right about not holding up for stopping someone from working for someone else.

    The thing is, once it's legal and enforcable that he can't start on his own and take your customer base or contacts, you need to be sure you keep him around (if you want him) and not let him go to another landscaper for work. Ya know what I'm saying?
  4. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Guido, I know it was a little off the mark, but it's my only personal experience w/ this subject. I still don't know if you could stop them from starting their own business, but it should hold up to protect your customer base, which is of value in itself. I think we need somebody w/ more legal knowledge than I.
  5. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I just wanted to re state that the purpose was to stop the foreman from starting up on his own.

    Thanks for all the input guys! I think we're getting somewhere!
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Contracts are made to be broken. Non-compete is one of the hardest to enforce. Your foreman can start his own business and steal every customer you have and get away with it. All he has to do is put the business in someones name other than his own. His father uncle or sister etc. His wifes name might be a hot point. Even if you sell your business and sign a non-compete you can beat it the same way. I had a lawer write one for me and had my employees sign. One of them went into business for himself but did not hit on my customers. My non-compete has a chanch of winning in court. I let it go. He is a jerk but at least he didn't hit on my customer, more power to him.

    I can't spellll but 2+2=5
  7. Stephen

    Stephen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    Here is a copy of my non-compete agreement. If you guys see anything that is missing please feel free to discuss it, as it may save us all a headache or two in the future.

    I tried to post this as an attatchment but it doesn't seem to be working so I am adding this onto my email.

    Please not the names have been changed to protect the innocent. LOL


    Mr. X d/b/a Mr. X Landscaping and

    THIS AGREEMENT, entered into between Mr. X Landscaping, with its
    principal place of business located at 321 Mockingbird Lane, herein called the
    “EMPLOYER”, and ___________________, residing at____________________, herein
    after called the “EMPLOYEE”, this _____ day of _________, 2000.

    WHEREAS, the employer is engaged in a lawn maintenance and snow removal
    business which handles commercial and residential accounts in Sullivan, Orange,
    Delaware and Ulster Counties, and;
    WHEREAS, the employee is interested in becoming employed by the business
    WHEREAS, the employee acknowledges that in the disclosure of the information
    which it receives from the business, as to the manner by which Mr. X Landscaping
    conducts its business, its contacts, and its list of customers, both present and future, is
    privileged information and that any disclosure of such privileged information by any
    person or organization other than in the course of its business, with approval of Mr. X
    would be highly detrimental and damaging to the business.;
    NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises, covenants
    and conditions contained herein, the parties agree as follows:
    ____________agrees that during or after its relationship as more particularly set
    forth herein, with Mr. X d/b/a Mr.X Landscaping, cannot directly or indirectly, use any
    privileged information obtained from Mr.X for any purpose or disclose any information
    to any person or organization not connected to Mr. X Landscaping, without the express
    written consent of Mr. X for a period of five (5) years from the date of termination of its
    relationship with Mr. X d/b/a Mr.X Landscaping.
    Upon the termination of ____________________’s relationship with Mr.X
    Landscaping, ________________ agrees to return any and all documents, records or
    customer lists obtained from Mr.X, including any copies .
    ____________________ agrees while being employed by Mr.X d/b/a Mr.X
    Landscaping and for a period of five (5) years from date of termination for any reason, he
    shall not become employed by any other competing lawn maintenance or snow removal
    business, including third party businesses. The geographical area covered by the
    non-compete agreement shall be an area encompassing 100 mile radius from the principal
    place of business of the employer, namely Anytown, New York, and must not fall within
    the time period of five (5) years.
    In the event that_____________________ shall breach this agreement, or in he
    event that such breach appears to be in a imminent possibility, Mr. S shall be entitled to
    legal and equitable remedies afforded to him by law as a result thereof, and may, in
    addition to any and all other forms of relief, recover from________________all
    reasonable costs and attorney’s fees encountered by it in seeking any such remedy,
    whether or not suit is actually instituted.
    This agreement shall be binding upon the parties hereto and upon their successors
    and assigns.
    This agreement shall be governed by all purposes by the law of, the State of New
    York. If any provisions of this agreement are declared void, or otherwise unenforceable,
    such provision shall be deemed to have been severed from this agreement, which shall
    otherwise remain in full force and effect.
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties executed the foregoing agreement on the
    date first shown above.

    ______________________________ _____________________________
    BY: Mr. X

  8. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Seems to have the major elements, but 5 years and 100 miles seems a little strong.

    I'd get an attorney to look it over and finalize it.
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Make sure that you will not base your decision to hire ....if they DON"T sign it ......that's illegal ...it's just a "barking' dog although ...the perception is a legal binding .... yet won't hold in court unless they steal jobs using privileged info ....time frame n distance have to be “reasonable” if not its a waste of time…..after all a person has the right to start their own thing or work elsewhere ……just can’t back stab using work methods n confidential privy info

    FLA. STAT. § 542.335

    In consideration of my being employed by Fantasy Lawns Inc., yet not necessary for employment, in recognition of the value of the corporate name, reputation, and good will of Fantasy Lawns Inc., and the value of the training and operating methods and techniques of the Company understanding & signing of this Restrictive Covenant. I the undersigned, hereby agree that if such employment is terminated for any cause, employee shall not, for a period of 12 months thereafter engage either directly or indirectly as a principal, alone or in association with others: in the Confidentiality of Information or Solicitation of or in contracting with, existing customers of the company as specifically shown and listed hereto attached, similar services provided such customers by the company, within 10 miles of Fantasy Lawns Inc. mailing address.

    Employee Full Name:

  10. MRPLOW

    MRPLOW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Good luck trying to enforce any no compete clause. There is a slight possibility of it holding up, but more than likely your going to spend as much money in legal fees as the lost revenue. Also five years will never hold up, the judge may limit it to one year. Also 100 miles may be a stretch too. And if you fire them it will be hard very hard to enforce, you can't fire someone and then tell them they cannot get another job. Also if customers are listed in the phone book it might not be considered confidential information. To have any possibility to win in court your going to have to prove that the employee actively solicited the customer. Good luck. Huge companys have a hard time enofcing these things, and the only reason they try to enforce them is to set an example to other employees. I don't think that I would work for someone that tried to limit my employement for five years after I leave the company.

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