Legal documents are known for being long and boring. They’re usually good for curing insomnia, but there is a reason for their length and detailed legal language. A good contract should prohibit all undesirable behavior without being too broad. For example, non-compete agreements, which are often included in employment contracts, are provided by the employer to prevent the worker from taking trade secrets and/or clients to a competing company.
Most non-compete agreements are restricted in time (usually six months to a year after employment ends) and geography (within a certain number of miles of the employer, or to a particular state or country). Noncompete agreements that extend too far in time or space risk being considered unenforceable in a court of law.
NanoMech, Inc. is a nanotechnology company that specializes in lubrication, energy, biomedical coatings, and strategic military applications. They attempted to write a noncompete agreement for their employees that was simple and straightforward. It read: “The Employee agrees that during the term of this Agreement, and for two (2) years following termination of this agreement by the Company, with or without cause; or, for a period of two (2) years following a termination of this Agreement by the Employee, the Employee will not directly or indirectly enter into, be employed by or consult in any business which competes with the Company.” Continue reading