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Hello All,
I am a a self employed master electrician. I have two subs that work for me and two employees. I hired the "new guy" yesterday under the assumption he was a journeyman well when he came in to the shop, filled out the application I copied his license AND his master electrician card. He lives about 15-20 miles from the shop. My office manager suggest we type up a no compete letter. She drafted one up yesterday that said during his employment with my company he can not solicit work from any of my customers nor is he allowed to work with in a 50 mile radius. She also included a time period of one year-this is new to me and to be honest I would not have hired him if I knew he was a master. If we could get some in sight on this one it would be greatly appreciated-Thank You!
 

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Hello All,
I am a a self employed master electrician. I have two subs that work for me and two employees. I hired the "new guy" yesterday under the assumption he was a journeyman well when he came in to the shop, filled out the application I copied his license AND his master electrician card. He lives about 15-20 miles from the shop. My office manager suggest we type up a no compete letter. She drafted one up yesterday that said during his employment with my company he can not solicit work from any of my customers nor is he allowed to work with in a 50 mile radius. She also included a time period of one year-this is new to me and to be honest I would not have hired him if I knew he was a master. If we could get some in sight on this one it would be greatly appreciated-Thank You!
I would not take a job like that with that policy .

If I am working for someone 40+ hour a week then there should be no need for big side jobs.

The fact that he has his Master license should be a good thing not something that you should hold against him.


Welcome to the forum.:thumbsup:
 

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I am not familier with your states laws, but what does he get out of signing it?
Does he get to keep his job? Are you going to fire him if he does not sign?
What's wrong with him being a master? Does he need a contractors license in your state? If so does he have a contractor license?

In my company of 7 in the field, 3 are masters, 2 are journeyman, 1 is finalizing paperwork to take the journeyman test, and 1 is a helper.
 

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Do you, by any chance, have a Petco or Petsmart near you?

I ask, because these stores have their dog groomers sign a no-compete agreement. You might want to get a copy of one and look it over.

Yes, you have a reasonable fear that an employee might walk off with some of your work, or use your shop as a cover to run his own jobs. It has happened. On the happy side, he might bring you some business. It's all about trust, and clearing things up at the start.

I want you to look at the pet store contracts, because a contract is only good as far as it will be enforced by a court. Courts have shown themselves to be very fussy about what they will enforce.

The devil is in the details - what sort of work, employment vs. setting up a competing business, "ownership" of customers, service area, time frame, etc., are all matters the court will examine.

Some guys would try to write a 'no compete' agreement that would ban a guy from ever working for anyone, in any role, anywhere, forever. The point is, the less reasonable the agreement looks, the less likely the court is to honor it at all.

I mean ... you hired the guy because of his experience and training, right? Experience and training that you had nothing to do with, that was even provided by your competitors? Now you want to claim that you 'own' his qualifications, and you have a right to prevent him from ever using them elsewhere? Who's the thief here? Small wonder there are unions ....

I advise against typing up your own agreement, at least without first looking at many proven contracts and learning what the 'normal terms' are. If you write the agreement, the court will be quite strict in construing every clause against you in the most liberal manner.
 

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The time period of one year, would that be left in place if you were to fire him? You have to give the guy a chance to eat if things don't work out, right?

I don't like non-competes by employers, but I get it. My last job I signed one & it was something to the affect of: not soliciting work from one of his customers for a period of 2 years after employment ended. That's not a big deal in Phoenix because there are about a million different opportunities around town. In a smaller market it could get tricky.
 

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Hello All,
I am a a self employed master electrician. I have two subs that work for me and two employees. I hired the "new guy" yesterday under the assumption he was a journeyman well when he came in to the shop, filled out the application I copied his license AND his master electrician card. He lives about 15-20 miles from the shop. My office manager suggest we type up a no compete letter. She drafted one up yesterday that said during his employment with my company he can not solicit work from any of my customers nor is he allowed to work with in a 50 mile radius. She also included a time period of one year-this is new to me and to be honest I would not have hired him if I knew he was a master. If we could get some in sight on this one it would be greatly appreciated-Thank You!
While you certainly can write this up, and the guy might even sign it, if he does violate it, you'll be hard-pressed to find a judge willing to side with your attempt to restrain trade in a free market economy. You can protect your intellectual and real property, but you can't prevent someone from working for others in their free time, nor to seek employment with anyone, even "your" customers, after his employment with you is terminated. I've seen this happen, and I've never seen an employer win.

But the letter might intimidate him if he doesn't seek legal counsel and is ignorant of the reality of our laws.

My recommendation is that if you wouldn't have hired him knowing that he was a master, that you let him go now.
 

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How much money do you have and how good is your lawyer, because it will wind you up in court if you want to enforce the non-compete clause should your employee leave to do his own thing.

Be good at what you do and if he leaves to compete, hire a hit man.:no:
 

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Apparently I'm not allowed to work in a 10km radius of our companies office if I leave them, its not enforceable because you cannot tell me I am not allowed to carry out my profession. I didn't mention it and signed my contract, nothing I can sign supersedes the employment relations act in NZ.
 

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Hard to have someone with training and expereince sign a NC agreement, but if you hire someone green and teach them everything a NC is a smart idea to protect that investment.
 

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Note that you would be entering into a contractual agreement with your employee. If he signs, you must retain him for a reasonable period. NCN's can't be used to stifle competition. They are restricted in enforcement both in time and distance. As I wrote before, you are entitled to protect your interests, but this is put to the test of "reasonableness" if it goes to court. In many cases a NCN is going to be limited by a reviewing court, and can also be completely thrown out.

Bottom line, if it's not already obvious, is that you really need to consult an attorney in your state and get the real info that applies to your specific circumstances. Have the attorney, not your office manager, write the document. CNC's need to be very specific in order to be enforceable. Many are not, hence what I wrote earlier about not seeing any upheld in court, out of several examples I witnessed peronally.
 

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The time period of one year, would that be left in place if you were to fire him? You have to give the guy a chance to eat if things don't work out, right?

I don't like non-competes by employers, but I get it. My last job I signed one & it was something to the affect of: not soliciting work from one of his customers for a period of 2 years after employment ended. That's not a big deal in Phoenix because there are about a million different opportunities around town. In a smaller market it could get tricky.
When I worked for Dell, I had to sign a no-compete agreement that they would try to enforce for two years after my employment ended. Apparently there are trade secrets involved in putting computers together. :blink:

No big deal around here, Dell was the only big computer company in the state (and I think they've completely left now).

I don't like 'em and I won't work for a company that requires them.

One of the local electric outfits has one with a period of "term of employment plus two years." While the word is the owner rarely tries to enforce, I just don't need the hassle in this economy. I'd rather just strike out on my own from the get go if he's the only one hiring and those are the terms.
 

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As has been stated before, very few states entertain such a thing and those that do are required to be extremely narrow and almost exclusively have to include trade secrets. Outside of that any type of agreement that by its enforcement precludes you from finding any reasonable work or creates a de facto monopoly by your past employer will most likely be found invalid on its face by a court.
 

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When I worked for Dell, I had to sign a no-compete agreement that they would try to enforce for two years after my employment ended. Apparently there are trade secrets involved in putting computers together. :blink:

No big deal around here, Dell was the only big computer company in the state (and I think they've completely left now).

I don't like 'em and I won't work for a company that requires them.

One of the local electric outfits has one with a period of "term of employment plus two years." While the word is the owner rarely tries to enforce, I just don't need the hassle in this economy. I'd rather just strike out on my own from the get go if he's the only one hiring and those are the terms.
It's the equivalent of a bluff. Unless you're in a contractual employment agreement, and then it's only enforceable for the original term of employment in the case you leave before the contract ends. For employment of undetermined length (what we all typically work under), it ends when you terminate. But they all hope you're scared they'll sue and therefore fall for the bluff.
 

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well there's the deeper pockets issue that fuels the bluff /no bluff status there

look at it in the same manner as getting screwed by customers not paying us

your not going after the small change, nor are the collection agencies, or anyone else

the interest is in the big $$$'s, and even if one looses those big $$$'s to a 'non compeditor' who fell off the contractual wagon, it's going to take a long time to have your day in court

and by then, the perp's laughed all the way to the bank

~CS~
 
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