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Thread: Non compatition clause Ohio

  1. #1

    Default Non compatition clause Ohio

    My wife was required to sign a non compatition clause when she started work 14 yrs ago. They had no company handbook at the time. Last year when they came out with a company handbook they adressed non compatition in the handbook. does this take the place of the document she signed?

    Would the non compatition clause prevent he from doing similar type of work but different end users/market? Example...suppose they made carved wooden signs..could she sell landscape relief carvings?

  2. #2
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    The only way to get a meaningful answer is to take all available documents to a local attorney for review. Some NCAs are legal and some NCAs are not. The only way to tell which sort you have is to have an local attorney review it. There is no magic "one size fits all" answer on OH NCAs that avoids actually reading the documents.

    I am including a pointer to an article on OH NCAs. The article was written by a OH attorney, and is hosted on that firm's website. I am recommending the article and not the law firm per se.

    http://www.myemploymentlawyer.com/Oh...icle-cases.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  3. #3

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    I wish we had a copy of what she signed, but either they didn't provide one or she misplaced it. It's a fairly sure bet that if she asked for it they will know she is thinking of leaving and fire her, and as Ohio is an at will state they need to reason to do it.

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    reference from 1-2010

    Ohio courts uphold noncompetes to the extent they're necessary to protect an employer's legitimate interest, don't impose an undue hardship on an employee, and aren't injurious to the public. If the restriction is overbroad in scope or duration, a court will reduce it to what's reasonably necessary to protect the employer's legitimate interest. Continued employment is adequate consideration for a promise not to compete.

    Makes ref. to Rogers v. Runfola & Assoc. (1991) & Lake Land Employment Gr. of Akron
    v. Columber (2004)

    As noted above, a noncompete should always be reviewed by an attorney in your area
    for advice & opinion.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    MidniteRider, your last post wasn't there yet when I started my prior post. If she
    can't get a copy of the noncompete she signed, she might take the current handbook
    to the attorney for review in regard to the NC section & as to whether he/she
    believes the handbook rises to the level of a legally enforceable contract.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  6. #6

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    Thank you both for the swift answers.

    As near as we remember the original stated she wouldn't work in direct compatition for 2yrs or within 100 mile radius. The new clause in the hand book basically states if an employee has interest either financial or works for a competator they will be terminated.

    If they new handbook does superceed the written agreement there is no real problem, they only question will be if it doesn't superceed it, does the fact that she will be using the same skill set( but learned at a previous job) but for very different customers, enter into play.

    The main problem will be the owner/boss...he feels anyone who leaves the company for any reason is disloyal and will likely try to use anything he can to harm her financially.

    The stated carving example is a fairly close representation of what the work situation is and will be.

    BTW thank you guys for your time and interest.

  7. #7
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    The new clause in the hand book basically states if an employee has interest either financial or works for a competator they will be terminated.

    That sounds like if she chooses to work for a competitor while still employed (i.e., takes on part-time weekend work or night work), your wife's current employer would terminate her for that.

    I don't see how this new clause would apply when she leaves employment, which is what more traditional non-compete agreements address (and is probably what she originally signed when she first started). Can you clarify which situation you are asking about?

  8. #8

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    She signed the first one when she started employment, the second one is what is now in the employee handbook. What we are hoping is that the one in the handbook would superceed the original one which was in place when they had no handbook.
    Them eventually terminating her is no real problem as she wants to quit, we just have to make sure they can't come after her or the new employer for the original clause.

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    If your wife cannot ask her boss how to interpret the new clause and whether her old agreement is still in effect, you will need to get an attorney to review the documents you do have, to best assist you in determining what still applies.

    Keep in mind - as a general rule, I would not expect the "new" handbook's clause to supercede the signed agreement, since they do not cover the same situation. As I pointed out in my previous post, the handbook's wording appears to cover employment with a competitor while still employed, while your recollection of the NCA's terms seem to only apply once she leaves the company.

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    Yep, definitely need to talk to an attorney & take whatever you have/you can get.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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