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Non Compete Agreement Louisiana

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  • Non Compete Agreement Louisiana

    Not sure if anyone can assist with a non-compete agreement here. I am Human Resources for a small business in Lousiana. My owners would like to create a non compete for not only our salesmen, but for every position that we have employed here. They wish to include a list of our top 25 customers on this non compete, and ask every employee, from IT technician, to administrative people, to shipping and receiving clerk, to sign saying that they agree not to go to work for any of those customers (all large businesses in our area).

    Will those signed agreements hold any water in the event that my company wants to prevent someone from going to work for one of those places? I guess I assumed that a non-compete was for sales people, so that they did not use our company's money, time, and resources to build up a client relationship, and then bail, taking that client's business and funds with them??

    Thanks

  • #2
    You really need the advice of an employment attorney in your state. To my knowledge, we have no LA attorneys who respond here. States can have different laws about whether or not noncompete agreements are even enforceable (for example, in California, they are not), let alone what is considered "reasonable".

    Having said that, IMHO, (and I am not an attorney) 2 years is a long time to prohibit an individual from plying his trade. Would there be any exceptions because of the reason for the termination? And why would they want to prohibit people (especially, for example, shipping and receiving clerks) who don't have trade secrets or business relationships to protect from working for a customer? If anything, you may want to consider a nondisclosure agreement, not a noncompete. Either way, you need local counsel to help you out on this. It's worth the money.

    Just my $.02.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 05-26-2010, 11:43 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Ditto on the attorney. If the agreement is too broad (in your favor) then it could be thrown out. You can't restrict someone from plying their trade, or expect them to move 150 miles to work in the same insdustry or never work for your clients. And it's your client's right to hire whomever they chose. An attorney can best guide you through your state's law on this.
      I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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      • #4
        Understood - I take all advice, and comments, as non-legal assistance. I'd like to get some professional input though, from people who are most likely much more well versed than I, having only been in HR for a few years, and then present the case to my owner and hopefully then get the OK to get some firm answers from an employment attorney.

        We do have a Confidentiality Agreement which must be signed, in addition to the non-compete. This Confidentiality Agreement addresses such things as trade secrets, proprietary information, etc. I think this is what you meant by Disclosure Agreement, Patty, but correct me if I'm wrong.

        What brought this up with my owner is that a technician is leaving us to work for a customer of ours (another business in our industry). We paid for and put this technician through a 2 or 3 month long 'school' of sorts that deals with his trade, which contributes to the knowledge that he now has, and that knowledge will be benefitting another company. I believe that my owner feels a little betrayed, that we assisted this employee in gaining skills, only for him to go and work for another company in our industry. And so then my owner brought up the fact that a non compete should be created for each position and specified to his or her particular employment.

        My owner wants to actually list the companies that current employees cannot go to work for for a certain number of years. As I'm typing this, I'm realizing a little how ridiculous this sounds. I think that the owner has taken the notion of a 'non compete' and is instead attempting to turn it into 'we can tell you who you can and cannot work for, so that you won't screw us over!"

        Thanks,

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        • #5
          Louisiana non-compete agreements - citation 23:921

          http://www.legis.state.la.us:80/lss/lss.asp?doc=84015

          You do need to talk to an attorney.
          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

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          • #6
            noncompetes are much harder to implement in most states than less restrictive agreements such as non solicits. I do not practice in LA, but in the states in which I do have experience, non competes are highly suspect, but a 1, sometimes 2 year non solicit agreement is enforceable under most circumstances. Try for too much though, and you risk the entire thing being thrown out. Talk to an employment atty in your state who specializes in these agreements and narrowly tailor them to your specific purpose (ie: protection against solicitation of customers for example).

            Comment

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