Non-Competition Clauses.

11/2/2019, By Adrian Choo

Let's talk about non-competition clauses. These days, many Offer Letters state that if you join a competitor within X number of months of leaving your company, they will sue you $Y in damages. Should you be afraid? Well, the general answer is no. Now, I'm no expert in this as I'm not a lawyer, but I've been on the receiving end of one of these, and beat the company...Twice! In general, as long as you don't hold any 'Proprietary Trade Secrets' (eg, formula for Coke) and join a DIRECT Competitor in the EXACT role, you're pretty much safe. The Law generally frowns upon such 'Restraint of Trade' clauses. However, there are ways which Companies can build tighter restrictions (I'm not gonna say here cos I don't want them to know), so do consult a lawyer if you're unsure. However, there are other ways that bosses can mess with you when you leave. 1. Don't copy confidential info like client names, data or even Ops manuals, especially if you're in banking. 2. Leave all info intact. Don't delete anything before you leave, no matter how innocuous. 3. Don't directly poach clients (at least, not immediately) after you leave. It's a bit too obvious.