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Get A Grip On Lighting: Non-Compete Clauses

Get A Grip On Lighting: Non-Compete Clauses

If you want to see a rant from the guys at the Get A Grip On Lighting podcast, talk about non-compete clauses. In this episode, they have some strong words for business owners who force their employees to sign non-compete clauses, and how it impacts everyone involved.

Greg Ehrich, LC is the former President of the National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors (NAILD) and owner of Premier Lighting, a progressive lighting distributorship.

Michael Colligan is an entrepreneur and inventor. He’s a subject matter expert in commercial and industrial lighting supply, lighting retrofits, and finding recycling streams for hard-to-recycle waste.

The Get A Grip On Lighting podcast on lightED is sponsored by Keystone Technologies.

If you want to watch more Get A Grip On Lighting podcasts, you can go to www.getagriponlighting.com.


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Discussion (4 comments)

    Barry Oliver July 22, 2019 / 2:18 pm

    I believe this is a very narrow and naïve perspective. I get that you have an issue with an employee sharing all of your companies inside information with others, but have a problem holding them back from doing so? Like you said, “you paid them so just don’t take your customers”. I guess you trust in a perfect world. Why wouldn’t you consider protecting yourself and your employees who count on you to insulate them from harm? Is a no-compete meant to stop someone from working or working with someone who can retaliate and cause financial harm? You say shame on the employer if an employee leaves, but did you consider someone throwing a lot of money at an employee to take them away? I know of a representative who has hired employees away from their current employees only to lay them off a year later so they could know the inner working of their competitors. We have a noncompete but is very limited and precise that spells out “direct competitor” only. That at best is a handful of companies. Based on your logic, can I assume you would be okay with me hiring one or more of your employees after you have invested a ton of time and money on them? It would be so much easier on me after you have paid them (plus travel cost) to addend manufacturer training, invested in relationship building via entertainment cost and the slow return on investment for a brand new employee while you teach them the business. I have been an owner for many years and found there is no perfect world. As an employer one of my responsibilities is to take care of our employees, so be it if it hurts one individual who is willing to cause harm for more money each year. In todays world where there is a shortage of qualified people, why take a chance to negatively impact your business? Is your responsibility as an employer to help those that leave or to take care of the ones who stay?

    Michael Colligan July 24, 2019 / 9:53 am

    First off, you are welcome to come on the Video Show and discuss your concerns. It would be fun. Now – I have been accused of a lot which I let slide like water off a ducks back but naiveté?

    My position is that it is morally wrong to lure someone into a non-compete when there is no offsetting Quid Pro Quo. Consider yourself a counter-party in a contract. The law is meant to balance counter parties and create a just outcome. People need to be able to quit jobs for a ton of reasons which may or may not be something they want to reveal to their employer.

    Unless, the employer is willing to continue pay the person while they seek alternative, non-competitive beneficial employment which is equal to or exceeds their current pay package, than a non-compete lacks the necessary Quid Pro Quo to make it a just clause in any contract. If it is enforceable without a benefit to the counter-party than the law is unjust in that jurisdiction period – end of the story.

    Non-Solicitation, Disparagement and Disclosure along with a solid training bond should cover all the concerns you listed in your comment. When it comes to unethical people… what can I say.

    Finally – can I be considered Offensive maybe, Obnoxious for sure. Naive – I don’t think so bud.

    TED KONNERTH, PhD July 25, 2019 / 8:50 am

    I’ve written about non-competes for several years. A couple of salient points:
    1. Silicon Valley banned them in the early years; and it has fostered a robust economy, with freedom to literally walk across the street and start anew.
    2. Non-competes are basically indentured servitude agreements. While they appear to ‘protect’ the employer; they actively keep unhappy or less-motivated employees.
    3. Other than highly technical disciplines (engineering, R&D), there are very, very few ‘secrets’ in this industry. Losing a salesperson rarely causes the loss of those customers. (non-disclosure agreements will protect the ‘secrets’)
    4. If the company can’t retain their people; the issues are far deeper than a non-compete can solve.
    It’s time for the industry to embrace diversity and open employment.. if you don’t want to work for your employer.. leave, please.

      Michael Colligan July 25, 2019 / 2:36 pm

      Hey Ted, I got so much flack for this I wrote an article that is coming out on lighTED or TED Mag just to lay it all out more succinctly. But you made all my points in your comments. Something we agree on!!!

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