From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Legal Issues. Noncompete agreements and other issues
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 4:08 pm

In this year’s class one of the items we brought up that
surprised many of the grad students and post-docs was
the concept of noncompete agreements that many are
asked to sign at some point in their career.

Those in the legal profession are uniquely skilled in
language and describe them as an understanding in contract
law where an employee agrees not to enter into a similar
employment situation which would compete against the
initial employer. 
The employee would gain competitive
advantage based on confidential information, sensitive
information, trade secrets, business practices, new products
or marketing tactics.

The argument is that signing such an agreement signs
away our career trajectory and disowns the “human capital
of knowledge workers
, since it severely restricts where we
might go and what we might do in our professions.

Recently there has been more discussion encouraging
policies and changes in the law existent for some time
to restrict or invalidate noncompetes, as is the case in
California.  O. Lobel wrote recently in HBR and Gov.
Patrick of MA proposed such legislation to encourage
a more vigorous innovation culture which is claimed to
be restricted by noncompete agreements.

Al Sklover represents employees faced with such
dilemmas, whether to sign when asked, what to do
if you have signed and wish to leave
and other contentious

Being knowledgeable about the contractual issues that
may be part of an employment contract is something all
professionals should  know about– have a mentor and know
resources who can support you.

Grand Jury Investigations.
A Sklover issued a post about what to do if you were issued
a subpoena to appear before a grand jury.  I don’t suspect
many of us will be in this situation.  But then again
surprises and unintended consequences do happen, so
“forearmed is forewarned.”

“His direct reply was:  Without question you need to …
retain an experienced …criminal defense attorney,
licensed in your locale and well versed in Grand Jury

Telecommuting and Flexible work arrangements

A Sklover issued an approach that falls under agreements
and good use of time and facilities.  Many are bringing
our work with us on our cellular and iPad devices.  It
is growing quite fast, meaning there are few protections
in place for professionals.  His 15 point checklist can
benefit you if this is something you seek or do.


2 Responses to “Legal Issues. Noncompete agreements and other issues”

  1. site admin Says:

    A. Sklover wrote about a client/case where an employer
    said pay me your salary back and you are not obligated
    by your noncompete agreement in a recent blog. His
    note contains other salient features about noncompete

  2. site admin Says:

    Orly Lobel wrote in the NYTimes
    supporting the notion that Non-Competes are generally
    unfavorable for employees. It is up to date to 2017,
    offering they lead to salary reductions, career choice
    restrictions and unfavorable influences when you move on.
     If you are asked to sign one have a knowledgeable
    mentor or employment attorney review you documents
    before you sign. It might be worth asking the requiring
    company if they will compensate for the legal review.

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