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Did you sign Google's noncompete? Good, you're fired (valleywag.com)
35 points by ingenium 3533 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

That's brutal. "engage in any employment, business or activity that is competitive with the Company's businesses"

There aren't many tech companies that can't be said to be competing with Google in one way or another. Assuming "the Company" means Google rather than Doubleclick (and it must) that makes them nearly unemployable.

"solicit business from, do business with or render services to, in any capacity, directly or indirectly, any entity that is or was a Company client or customer within the last twelve months of my employment with the Company, for a purpose or in a manner that is in any way competitive with the Company's business."

i.e., can't sell ads to anyone who used AdSense?

This is incredibly evil.

Non-competes don't stand up in court. Who would sign this type of agreement, though? I've signed non-competes before, but "I agree to provide a copy of this Agreement to any person or entities seeking to hire me before accepting employment with or engagement by any such person or entity." is insane.

I've never been so glad to not have taken a Google job.

A non-compete, like any contract, doesn't mean anything until a court actually enforces it. I'm no lawyer, but given the circumstances, I doubt these contracts will hold up in court well. Also, I'm pretty sure non-compete clauses are less enforcable when the employer does the termination.

I'm assuming most of these people had non-competes signed with DoubleClick. So I'm not entirely sure what the problem is here. And yes, even if you're going to work for a single day you need to sign the standard noncompete agreements.

Maybe Google didn't like the non-compete signed with DoubleClick.

It didn't cover Google's properties.

courts won't enforce these. this is retarded.

You have a basic right to earn a living, no contract can take that away from you. It's not worth the paper it written on.

Doesn't matter. First thing you sign when you join a new employer is an agreement that says something like "I am not under any other company's non-compete".

While this might not be enforceable, if you were a small company in a similar space, would you really risk hiring someone if you might get attacked by Google's lawyers?

Yes, I would if I were in the state of California. If you were small, google wouldn't notice anyways.

And what if you had two candidates that were of similar ability, and one of which has shown you his Google non-compete agreement?

The second is an idiot who doesn't know how to negotiate or use Google (to search for the thousands of citations to the precedent). Don't hire the guy.

News flash: big companies will try to screw you, even when it's against the law. If you do not resist, you are a chump, and I feel that hiring passive chumps can only lead to trouble.

Not nice, maybe, but it's worth understanding. When push comes to shove, you have to stand up for yourself.

Those that signed the NCA and then discarded it got themselves a free 2 months of severance. I applaud their canny maneuvering; Google is poorer for firing them.

Hmm, that's a great point I hadn't thought of before.

From an employer's perspective I can clearly see given 2 identical candidates why you might want to shy away from the one who has signed a non-compete with a company known for having alot of lawyers like Google or Microsoft.

Might be good publicity, but also somewhat of a risk, if you were sued.

It's not that simple -- it depends state-by-state and case-by-case. But California, especially, and New York are both very much for the employee's right to compete in such matters. I understand Nevada and Texas, not as much.

Fortunately, unless they were promoted or given a bonus for signing the agreement, it's pointless:

_Provide a Benefit to the Employee_

Next, you must provide a benefit to the employee in exchange for his or her promise not to compete against you. Making a job offer contingent on signing a noncompete agreement probably satisfies this requirement, since the employee is receiving a benefit (a job) in exchange for the promise. It's more difficult to provide an existing employee with a benefit, but generally, coupling the agreement with a promotion or a raise will do the trick.


"Don't be evil ... unless you can profit from it"

don't be evil... to your users. employees are company property.

Yeah, good luck hiring employees to treat as "property". I'm sure you'll get some real winners.

What about acquiring them?

exactly. they're not laying off Google employees (or at least not many). they're laying off people they bought the rights to.

Those rights were never theirs to buy. This country banned slavery long ago.

Really? Maybe someone should take a closer look at EA.

I don't see what Google did as being illegal. Certainly reprehensible, but making someone unemployable is not the same as employing them with zero salary.

Why are we linking to flamebait Valleywag? http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=160704

Because this is a legit story and prime argument as to why blanket bans are imperfect?

never sign non-competes. just say no.


This is as evil as it gets.

damn you valleywag

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