Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How will you working for a competitor affect your current employer?
I am aware with current employee of costs of products and marketing plans etc. That would be seen as sensitive information
I can attach the contract as a PDF.....have a look at section 15 etc if you wish
ok you can attach it on here if you wish, thanks
Ben, it will only let me attach as an image and not a file....can email to you if you provide me with an address
it usually works as an image, I often work with pdfs on here
im technically challenged then!
it's fine I got it
section 15....is the new bit vs 2006
Generally when an employer wants to amend an employee’s contract, they need their consent or they could instead seek to terminate their current employment and re-employ them on the new terms. In this case you appear to have accepted the changes, albeit with a sense of reluctance. The issue is that you still signed the contract and started working under its terms without pursuing this formally, for example by making it clear you are not accepting the changes and that you are starting to work ‘under protest’. So whilst you may have expressed your dissatisfaction of the terms, you still accepted them and continued working as normal, which is unlikely to be seen as a clear refusal to agree to the changes.
So the likelihood is that the contract offered in 2013 has been accepted and even if they are trying to reissue you with a new, similar one, now, refusing it would still mean the previous version is in force.
In terms of the restrictions within, non-competition covenants prevent an employee from working with a competing business or setting up to work in competition with their ex-employer. Such general restrictions are seen as a restraint of trade and will be difficult to enforce. They will only be seen as reasonable if in the process of working in competition, the employee uses trade secrets or sensitive confidential information belonging to their ex-employer, or their influence over clients is so great that such a restriction is necessary. The length of the restriction and its geographical coverage will also be relevant. Legitimate business interests (LBIs) that employers are able to protect through restrictive covenants are commonly accepted to include:
Whilst restrictive covenants are mainly used as a scare tactic by employers, if an employee has acted in breach of a covenant and the employer is intent on pursuing the matter further they can do so. The following are potential outcomes if the employer takes legal action:
As you can see there are no hard and fast rules on restrictive covenants. Whether a specific restriction is enforceable will always depend on the individual circumstances, the interest being protected and whether it has been reasonably drafted. The above principles are what the courts will consider when deciding whether a restriction is going to be legally enforceable. It should give you a good idea of what to look for in your situation and decide what the chances of this being pursued further are.
As a US based company, I think the "scare tactics" are probably true. The company is risk averse and would not want to pusue anything through the court if it can be helped.
most companies are the same, but if they can foresee a genuine risk from your actions then it is there to be used if needed