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It is your choice, at that point, to say "I cannot fulfil this, do you still want to employ me?"

In the case of trade secrets, I would not have an issue fulfilling the clause, provided it was worded in such a way that it did not preclude me using skills gained on the job for a different employer. Otherwise it impacts my ability to provide for myself in future, so I can't take the job unless there is financial compensation over and above a normal salary.

For a non-compete I would probably tell them I was just not willing to sign at all as it would definitely impact my ability to provide for myself in future.

But at that point I think it's perfectly reasonable to offer a compromise - "as this restricts my ability to find future work, I will need to be paid for the duration of the clause, or I cannot accept the job"




Just getting paid is hardly good enough. You're getting paid to sit on the sidelines and not work? Ask anybody who's been unemployed for a year how toxic that makes you to future employers. You might very well never work again at anything approaching your old salary. And, no, your explanation of how it was due to a non-compete will not matter.


In situations like this you already have a job lined up that you are going to. Since they must pay you, it's up to your old employer to make a business case for themselves that it is in their best interest to pay you rather than just letting you get on with your new job. When employers have skin in the game, it is almost always better to let the employee go. The problem with most non-competes these days is that it costs employers nothing to enforce them. In this scenario that is not the case. Not only do you have a job waiting for you at the end of it but it signals that you were so crucial to your employers near term competitive advantage that they were forced to pay you to sideline you.

Also in this scenario, employers generally won't make you sit out for the full length of the non-compete. They may have you sit out for a few months until the critical product you were working on launches and they can claim first mover advantage, etc. Since it is now a business case, it generally makes no sense to make old employees sit idle for a year.


However nothing says you must sit on the sidelines. A year traveling the world sells well, I can say from personal experience. A year doing volunteer work, or coding OS Software would likely sell better. Or you could start a small biz. There is lots to do, and most of it sells just fine.


I've taken months off in the past to do interesting stuff or just screw around and enjoy life.

Either way, that just tells you the compensation for the non-compete should be at higher than your usual salary, does it not?




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