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Re: Non-compete clauses

--- Roger Kirk <rogerkirk@ttlc.net> wrote:
> The key here may be that he refused AFTER they 
> hired him.  I know that at my last company, they
> "improved" their non-compete contracts and had to
> offer financial incentives for existing employees
> to sign it.

Maybe the article is in today's Times. It was sent on
the wire as a business story. The ruling says two
things of interest. One is that non-compete
agreements, of any kind, are contrary to the public
interest in California and are not enforceable,
because a person's interest in mobility and
advancement outweighs the employer's interest in
business comptitiveness (some of us would say in
limiting competition, but I digress).

So, the thing about this man already being employed
when he was asked to sign is not really an issue. The
ruling was much broader, which is what makes it of
note, according to the Times. The other major point
was that the court also cited a specific California
law prohibiting anything that prevents or impedes
anyone from engaging in business or work
activity.Someone commenting for the Times said some
other states have similar specific laws that might be

IMO, the contrary to public interest issue can be
compared to landlord-tenant leases. People sign leases
all the time that contain provisions that are illegal
on a blanket basis, whether or not you sign. They
can't be enforced. This ruling seems to put
non-compete clauses in the same category, in
California. The company and its lawyers were not
available for comment and the article was silent on
whether the case is being appealed.  

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