Your Non-Competes Aren’t Saving Your Business, They are Destroying Lives

A few years ago, sandwich shop Jimmy Johns hit the headlines with the news that they required low level employees to sign non-compete agreements. They later dropped this clause after a public outcry and the New York State Attorney General declaring the clause “unlawful.” That should have been the end of low income non-compete agreements, but sadly, it’s not.

Yesterday, The New York Times, ran an article documenting the stories of some blue collar workers who have been practically destroyed by non-compete agreements. This story struck me particularly hard:

In 2011, Timothy Gonzalez started working as a labor hand for a company called Singley Construction. He was 18 years old and already a father, and the extent of his education was a high school equivalency test. In other words, he needed money and did not have many options.

Mr. Gonzalez started at a little over $10 an hour in a job he described as “pretty much shoveling dirt.” Nevertheless, he signed an employment contract that included a noncompete clause, enforceable for three years within 350 miles of Singley’s base in Columbia, Miss.

To keep reading, click here: Your Non-Competes Aren’t Saving Your Business, They are Destroying Lives

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3 thoughts on “Your Non-Competes Aren’t Saving Your Business, They are Destroying Lives

  1. Despite laws blocking this practice, this non-compete practice occurs everywhere. How the companies get around this, is by slipping a statement into the file of employee after they have left job which shows up when future employers check job history. Unless an employee demands a copy of the file records that the job received, the employee will just assume that job was filled already.
    I am surprised that this practice wasn’t mentioned in this article. I know quite well that certain retail companies do this, to eliminate chances of re- employment by current employees who leave for a better paying job elsewhere.

    1. Indeed. Sounds like the commercial version of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), patent trolling, and other examples of corporations striding across the earth, striking terror among humans like the Martian tripods in War of The Worlds.

  2. Thats why when leaving a job, either own choosing, laid off, fired, request a copy of your official employee file (reply to Maria).

    What is interesting is it’s more about the information or data. The first couple of examples, marketing person taking and revealing knowledge of plans to a competitor, sales person taking a client list and then contacting them. All covered under a non disclosure agreement. Noncompetes should be illlegal, period. All they do is prevent a person from earning a living.
    Take an extreme example, Bill Gates leaves Microsoft and goes to be CEO of Apple. As long as Bill Gates doesn’t go and steer Apple based on planned courses at Microsoft (again covered by NDA), so what?

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