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Non-Compete Agreements?

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Old 05-24-2005, 02:54 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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I once worked as an independent contractor (ad specialty sales) and the distributor wanted me to sign a non-compete contract. I refused since I felt that if I was paying my own expenses and generating business for him (on a 50/50 margin) there was "nothing in it for me". He desperately wanted the customers that I could bring him so he backed off. He had a small customer base of his own clients when I went to work for him. I knew who they were and have, to this day, never called on them.

I realize that as contractor, I would bear my own expenses, but more and more he started relying on me to provide services to him. I bought a copy machine, he wanted me to make copies of stuff. I bought computer, scanner, software, laser printer, fonts, clipart etc. in order to generate camera ready art for my clients. He started billing for my artwork and taking half the charge as his own! He even started asking me to create art for his clients at the same "rates". The final straw was his listing of a toll free number that I was paying for so that his clients could call and leave messages for him!!!

I left him after 5 years and opened my own business. He was livid and tried to tell me I had a no compete clause. I asked him to show it to me, he never could. I gave him one month's notice and took that time to get my business ducks in order. Since my customers were used to calling me on that toll free line, he was SOL. I'd say 95% of them moved with me. From day one I doubled my income and have never looked back.
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:13 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: Non-Compete Agreements?

Originally Posted by G. Couch View Post
Vikki mentioned in her "Your Bio" thread that she recently signed a "non-compete" agreement at her new job. I'm curious to know if anyone else has done this and what the general thought is on the ethics of it. Personally I hate them and see it as a bully tactic some employers use to keep their employees from exploring other options. I signed one once and vowed never to do it again...and I have my doubts that these things would even hold up in court.
Yes, they do hold up in court. Sales and management jobs are more strict than production because they involve relationships rather than skills.

Also, it seems like the more "personal" the termination, the more ugly the break becomes. Former employers can say, "I don't care where you work, as long as it's not for CompanyX." CompanyX, is your new job.

I'm in Florida (a right to work state) and I have been to court to testify on behalf of a new company, being sued by an old company. So. it does happen.

Like anything else you sign. You'd better be willing to abide by it.
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