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My question relates to non-compete agreements. I have read…

Customer Question
My question relates to non-compete...
My question relates to non-compete agreements. I have read online that California makes all non-compete agreements void, except for special circumstances.I run a commercial cleaning business. My clients include grocery stores for example.If i want to hire an employee to work for my business, i do not want them later trying to start their own business and try to market to my clients. This is especially a concern if an employee has run their own cleaning business before.Can i have them sign an agreement that they will not try to offer janitorial services to my client for a period of time after they leave employment with my company?Can i also have them sign an agreement that they will not work for my client in any job position, for a period of time after they leave employment with my company? And/or can i have my clients sign an agreement not to hire my employees? (This protects the effort i go through to find good workers to take care of my clients. If they hire my workers, how can i provide them a good service?)Finally, can you explain the difference between California law, common law, and the Uniform Commercial Code as to how they affect contracts?
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: California Employment Law
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Answered in 34 minutes by:
10/17/2017
California Employment Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 8 months ago
Roy Hadavi
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,296
Experience: Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates
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Hi Caleb. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney with extensive labor law experience. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

Answer

Non-Compete: For your purposes, the likely best option, both legally and from a business perspective, is to have your employees sign a Non-Solicitation Agreement. You are correct that non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable in California. However, a Non-Solicitation Agreement is absolutely enforceable. This type of agreement outlines exactly what you are proposing. Your employees would be prohibited from engaging your clients for a certain period of time after termination of employment. The specific language you would include in such an agreement would be something similar to this:

  • Employee will not during the term of their employment with the Company and for two (2) years after the termination of their employment, regardless of the reason for the termination, directly or indirectly, solicit or attempt to solicit any business from any of the Company’s Customers, Customer Prospects, or Vendors.

California law, common law and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC): Common law is the original law that the United States (except for Louisiana) used as the basis for our legal system. It originates from England. The UCC is a set of laws that was created by a group of legal authorities as a suggested basis for contract law. All of the United States has since adopted it almost in its entirety as a basis for contract law. California has adopted it completely. Therefore, common law is only useful for attorneys and judges to understand the basis of contract law. The UCC and California contract law as codified is relevant to understanding the specific laws relevant today.

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