In the Trenches: How iron-clad is a non-compete agreement?

In this edition of In the Trenches, Acme learns what happens when good employees leave.

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  • Just from a layman's point of view, I would think that a 3-year agreement would be hard to enforce. Generally I would expect 1-year agreements to be closer to the norm. However, taking the customer list and pricing list should be something that Acme could sue Slick about, as those are proprietary. Granted, the damage is done, but either an injunction or damages would seem to be a logical course of action. Then again - I'm an engineer, not a lawyer.

    What Acme missed, though, was the chance to avoid all this by giving Slick a cut of the commission. While he would not deserve the whole thing since he is no longer doing the work to support the account, I think Acme could have come to some equitable arrangement on at least a cut of the commission, even if only for a limited time. It would be worth it to keep such a hotshot salesman. People like that are valuable in industry. After all, no business happens until somebody sells something. Salesmen are the bedrock of our economy.

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