[conspire] Re: Usage of NDAs in legal flummery

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Dec 18 22:38:17 PST 2005

I wrote:

> [RM adds, 2005-12-18:  Note that that's in _California_.  In some other
> states, e.g., Vermont, there are horror stories of people being legally
> barred from their own professions for _years_ after leaving one employer,
> because of a non-compete agreement.]

Er, _not_ Vermont.  Sorry, Vermonters!  Apologies for that slight to the
Green Mountain State.

I meant to cite that state's considerably more crazed neighbours, over
in New Hampshire.  Here's the anecdote I had in mind, quoted from a much
earlier discussion elsewhere:

My wife Deirdre used to work under the MIS director at PC Connection,
which is in New Hampshire.  The director's  husband also worked in the
computer industry (in sales), was _laid off_(!), and then was
successfully sued for working at a firm that was vaguely in the same
industry, on grounds of violating his non-compete clause.  The new
employer was in a different state, even!

The court barred him for accepting employment in any sales job in the
computer industry, for the duration of his non-compete term -- enforcing
the terms of the non-compete clause exactly.  So, he ended up taking a
forced three-year vacation with only minimal side-jobs.

Most states won't enforce non-compete clauses against laid off
employees, if (unlike in California) they're regarded as enforceable at
all:  New Hampshire leans towards the lunatic fringe of anarcho-capitalism.

(Yeah, well, "Live free or die", indeed.  Feh.)

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