Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and welcome. What specifically is your question or questions regarding the non-compete? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Thank you. These clauses are purposefully broad because very often the employer doesn't know of every company that is a competitor, and new companies can be created after the agreement is signed which later turn out to be competitors. So, ,to be honest, I'm really not sure how the agreement can be that much more specific without defeating the purpose of the agreement from your employer's perspective. Basically, you need to operate with the understanding that if you do anything to "compete" with this employer after you leave, which essentially means anything that could potentially harm their business, you will likely be in violation of the non-compete.
Rather than negotiating how "competitor" is defined, which is just about impossible, you could focus your efforts on negotiating the geographic scope of the non-compete, which is much easier to define. For example, you could propose that it only be in effect within the state of Missouri, or within a 500 mile radius. You can also focus on negotiating the duration--for example, one year instead of two. Lastly, if the terms themselves are not negotiable, you can negotiate a signon bonus that this employer must pay as a condition of you signing the non-compete. All of these things are going to be much easier than narrowing down the scope of what it means to compete and what itself constitutes a violation of the agreement.
If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....
Two years is fairly standard, but as noted above could be negotiated down to one. The clause about researching and developing is something that you could propose eliminating. It should be sufficient to restrict you from working with a competitor, as it is only a competitor who would pay for you to research/develop a product or service that is similar to what your employer sells anyway. Therefore you could argue that the clause is essentially redundant.
I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.
Very best wishes.
Was there anything else I can do for you before we conclude, Tom?