Non-Competes and Other Employment Contracts
During the excitement of a run-up to a great new job, beware of signing too many documents without giving them due consideration.
While most employees today are employed at-will (meaning the employee can quit whenever she wants and the employer can terminate employment at any time for any legal reason, read more on our FAQ page), certain industries and professions still make use of an Employment Contract setting forth the terms of conditions of a worker’s employment.
These employment contracts can have serious consequences after the excitement of the new job wears thin—like when you want to move on in your career.
Terms can be negotiable and sometimes, just understanding the terms is peace of mind enough so that you aren’t left with surprises down the line.
Non-compete agreements are one type of employment contract that appear frequently in various industries like sales and entertainment. Employers try to draft the broadest agreements that prohibit former employees from working for competitors in terms of geography, time, and industry. For example, a medical device company might try to get a new hire to sign a non-compete where the employee vows not to work in the entire medical device industry nationwide for two years following departure from the company. That kind of restriction might be worth looking past today, when the new job seems like the best thing ever, but it certainly won’t be if you lose your job three years from now.
The time to consider and negotiate these agreements is before you sign them. Not after, when getting out from under restrictive agreements is much more expensive—but not impossible; we can help you assess that with our flat-fee contract consultation: