Signing a Non-Compete Agreement

When Donald Trump promised to give America back to the Americans; non-compete agreements became a household name. Hiring foreign employees is becoming a serious deal. Everybody wants a chunk of the world’s most flexible workforce.

So, if you landed a major gig only for your prospective employer to give you a non-compete agreement, don’t worry. This article details the nooks and crooks you should know before coloring the dotted lines.

What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a document that legally binds two parties. It restricts the employee from starting a competitive business for a designated amount of time. The agreement burns you from exploring new opportunities in rival companies. Also, you cannot disclose information considered by your employer confidential or proprietary.

For clarity, just know that this legal binding is meant to protect the working condition and wages of the US workforce while at the same time allowing the hiring of foreign employees. So, whether to sign it or walk away is determined by how bad you need that job.

How Important Is It?

The law obliges every potential employer to confirm the authorization of their new employees for work but not to discriminate against hiring foreign employees. It is an essential document this.

The non-compete agreement started as a scalpel for industries to protect their intellectual properties. With time technology has made this need a desperate must-have bludgeon that exploits every sector in the US. With the uncertainties and unpredictability of the future, companies have to retain their most valuable capital – their talented employees.

When no is not a luxury you can afford, try to bargain for better terms. Read every line. Scrutinize every detail. Make sure you get it right before signing. The non-compete law varies in every state.

Where You Should Pay Attention

The larger the regional radius that binds you, the more you should negotiate for better terms. Also, ask the hiring company to specify which companies are out of your reach so you find yourself exiled from the rest of the industry. Remember that that contract comes with an expiry date.

Keep your employer on a short leash. Limiting yourself to one place for long periods is a career killer. Again, bargain for the departure time. Does the contract hold if you are fired? Also, in case you decide to sue the employer when the contract is still valid, who pays for the company lawyer?

Hiring foreign employees gets harder every day. The non-compete agreements are the latest forms of economic insurance.