Non-compete Clauses Increasingly Pop Up in Array of Jobs

If you thought that non-compete clauses where only to be found in areas like technology or sales you are wrong. non-compete clauses are now everywhere.
Non-compete clauses are appearing in far-ranging fields, beyond the worlds of technology, sales and corporations with tightly held secrets, where the curbs have traditionally been used. From event planners to chefs to investment fund managers to yoga instructors, employees are increasingly required to sign agreements that prohibit them from working for a company’s rival. But what are the advantages of non-compete clauses?
Backers of non-competes states that they help spur the state’s economy and competitiveness by encouraging companies to invest heavily in their workers. Non-competes are also needed, supporters say, to prevent workers from walking off with valuable codes, customer lists, trade secrets or expensive training.
On the other side, we have the employees. For example Daniel McKinnon, who is a hairstylist in Norwell, Mass. He lost a court battle with his former employer who claimed that Mr. McKinnon had violated the terms of his agreement when he went to work at a nearby salon. Shortly after being fired, McKinnon started to work at a nearby salon. But a judge issued an injunction ordering him to stop working at his new employer. And so he lost his truck and his apartment. Another example: imagine if a few employees have an innovative idea and their bosses don’t want to pursue it. Normally they can leave to found a start-up. But, if employees with non-competes bring that innovative idea to their boss and it is rejected, they are stuck or they would have to leave the company and wait a year before they could pursue their new idea.
The United States has a patchwork of rules on non-competes. Only California and North Dakota ban them, while states like Texas and Florida place few limits on them. So, the question is, is it better to save the secret of a company or the liberty of the employees and within their livelihood?
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Reinhard von Hennigs