Many employers now require that employees, as a condition of being hired, sign employment contracts that contain non-compete or non-solicitation provisions. A non-compete provision prohibits the employee from starting a business in competition with their current employer (or perhaps also prohibiting the employee from going to work for a close competitor). A non-solicitation provision prohibits the employee from contacting the customers of the employer in hopes of taking their business away from the employer. The legal standard for non-solicitation and non-compete agreements is that they have to be reasonable in terms of the length of time for the prohibition and the scope. In other words, a provision that prohibits an engineer for Ford from ever working for a manufacturing company anywhere in the world for the rest of the employee's life would clearly be unreasonable. Employers say they need to be able to enforce reasonable restrictions on employees going to work in competition with them because they invest in the employees' training and pay for them to market to customers, so that if the employee goes into competition against them, the employer has effective paid to prepare the employee to take business away from the employer. Until a few years ago, such restrictions were routinely found by courts to be unreasonable, so that employers were unable in most cases to enforce non-compete or non-solicitation provisions in contracts. In the last decade or so, courts have become more willing to allow employers to enforce such agreements, and employers have responded by requiring more employees to sign such agreements before beginning work for the employer. Do you agree that courts should continue the trend of allowing employers to enforce non-compete and non-solicitation agreements? Why or why not?
I agree that courts should continue the trend of allowing employers to enforce non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. On Wikipedia a non-compete is described as...
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