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Security company non-compete Clauses

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  • #16
    This is a standard non-compete agreement from a security company...

    <Company> provides Armed and Unarmed security guard services throughout the Gunshine State. For valuable consideration, the employee and employer agrees as follows.

    1. The employee agrees not to compete either directly or indirectly, with the business of <Company> for a period of year from the date of the employee being terminated or Resigning from <Company>.

    2. This agreement will extend for a radius of 50 miles from each office location of <Company>.

    3. The employee agrees that "not to compete" means that the employee will not engage in any manner in a business or activity similar to that of the employer <Security Company>.

    4. If the employee violates this agreement, the employer will be entitled to an injunction to prevent such Competition, without the need for the employee to post any bond. In addition, <Company> will be entitled to any other legal relief.

    5. All printed material such as log books, reports, company handbooks, training manuals, employee lists, client site lists, etc. will not be disclosed to any persons outside <Company> for a period of 1 year, from the date of the employee being terminated or resigning from <Company>.

    ---

    I never signed this. However, I do like #5, which says after a year, you can use whatever you gleaned from your employment there. In other words... I can tell any story I want, use any form I want, etc... from my former employer.

    This is 100% enforcable, and I think they can go after your license in Florida, as well. I think they can go after your license for any "misconduct." This would be misconduct.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #17
      My current Secuity Co. has a non-compete clause in the employee handbook, that says I'm not to work for a direct competetor. It also says I'm to notify them of other jobs I might have.

      The Private Ambulance Co. I work for part-time has a similar agreement. They go a step farther by terminating employees for working for our contracted facilities.
      The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by EMTjon
        My current Secuity Co. has a non-compete clause in the employee handbook, that says I'm not to work for a direct competetor. It also says I'm to notify them of other jobs I might have.

        The Private Ambulance Co. I work for part-time has a similar agreement. They go a step farther by terminating employees for working for our contracted facilities.
        Chances are, it is also in the paperwork that you completed when hired. If you didn't sign and date it, the company would be hard pressed to get it upheld in a court of law.
        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Mr. Security
          Chances are, it is also in the paperwork that you completed when hired. If you didn't sign and date it, the company would be hard pressed to get it upheld in a court of law.
          That's easy to do, have them sign the last page which language indicating that they have read, understand, and agree too all company policies as outlined in this document. The entire handbook becomes the document you agreed to.
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
            That's easy to do, have them sign the last page which language indicating that they have read, understand, and agree too all company policies as outlined in this document. The entire handbook becomes the document you agreed to.
            Yeah, I thought about that. However, many handbooks state that they are just a "guide" so that you can't hold them accountable for what's in it. I doubt if they want you to tell a court that the non-compete section in the handbook was just to guide you in making your decision about working for the competition.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

            Comment


            • #21
              Well in California a Non-Compete is not legally enforcable UNLESS you start your own company and attack the contracts of your old employer. The agreement is only enforcable for 6 months after your termination or resignation. Most companies assume guards are dumb and dont know. I walked out on one job and walked away with 60 contracts when all was said and done. The court laughed at my employer when they tried to enforce my non-compete. Remember the term AT-WILL!!!!

              Comment


              • #22
                Guardsmark vs Securitas

                Guardsmark lost their ESPN account with approximately 140 guards to Securitas. According to the Hartford-Courant, Securitas planned to hire most of the guards that worked there for Guardsmark. Guess what? Guardsmark slapped them with the non-compete contracts that the guards signed and told Securitas to back off. Now Securitas is telling the guards that it can't hire them to work at THAT site. Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, sent a letter with a veiled threat to Guardsmark's President, Ira Lipman, stating that other legal steps may be taken if Guardsmark doesn't release the guards at that site from their non-compete clause.

                Richard did acknowledge however, that Guardsmark already successfully litigated a case in CT back in 1992, thereby setting a precedent for the courts. Stay tuned for more "sparks" as the calendar year ends.
                Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by EMTGuard
                  Our employee manual states that we can't work for a competing security company.
                  As does ours but only if we are working for our current company. We can't work for both at the sametime.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mr. Security
                    Guardsmark lost their ESPN account with approximately 140 guards to Securitas. According to the Hartford-Courant, Securitas planned to hire most of the guards that worked there for Guardsmark. Guess what? Guardsmark slapped them with the non-compete contracts that the guards signed and told Securitas to back off. Now Securitas is telling the guards that it can't hire them to work at THAT site. Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, sent a letter with a veiled threat to Guardsmark's President, Ira Lipman, stating that other legal steps may be taken if Guardsmark doesn't release the guards at that site from their non-compete clause.

                    Richard did acknowledge however, that Guardsmark already successfully litigated a case in CT back in 1992, thereby setting a precedent for the courts. Stay tuned for more "sparks" as the calendar year ends.

                    I was one of these officers affected by this. I moved onto Securitas into a better position anyway. Blumenthal is getting ready to restrict non-compete clauses and possibly even sue Guardsmark as well.

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                    • #25
                      On a side note we have the clients sign a non compete clause stating that they cant employ any of our guards for up to one year after we leave and they cannot allow another company that takes over to do the same. THAT IS ENFORCABLE!!! I just watched a X-Client take us to court AGAINST the advice of their attourney and they lost $75,000.00... Theres a way around everything.

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                      • #26
                        Noncompete agreements raise very complex legal questions that I doubt any of us are qualified to advise you about, I'm afraid - at least in the sense of advice that you should stake your livelihood on.

                        Some agreements have been very rigidly upheld by the courts while others have been held to be "unconscionable", "restraint of trade", "overreaching" (too long, too broad a geographic area involved, etc.), or that the terms do not form a proper contract because there was no consideration (something of value) given in exchange for the agreement, etc.

                        And, the objections above aside, in many cases the question seems to turn on the circumstances of the new employment as much as it does on the terms of the agreement itself. For instance, a court might want to know whether your former employer can show that it has actually suffered (not "might suffer") substantial harm by your going to work for a competitor.

                        One of the circumstances mentioned above is the position the employee holds in the new company relative to the position held in the old one. For instance, if you were one of the five top nanotechnology researchers in the country working under such an agreement and went to work for a competitor doing the same kind of research and in violation of its terms, I daresay your former company could and would enforce the agreement. In other words, even a court that doesn't usually "like" noncompete agreements might enforce one where there has been real damage to the former employer.

                        Another circumstance that can factor into a court's thinking is whether the employee can show that under the terms of the agreement he is prevented from earning a living in his chosen occupation.

                        In our line of work, where turnover is common, the "value" of an individual officer is obviously considered to be very low (as demonstrated by the wages companies pay), as opposed to a scientist, engineer, etc., so it's a lot harder to see the agreement being enforced. More to the point, it's also difficult to imagine that your former employer would think that the legal expenses of bringing the action would be worth it to try to prevent a security officer from working for another company.

                        But...if you walked out the door with trade information belonging to your former employer which you then used to damage your former employer, things might be different. I'm sure you have a better sense of ethics than that, though.

                        The main purpose of noncompete agreements is to protect a company from the loss of its trade secrets and other proprietary information...not to protect it from the possibility of losing clients, per se. I seem to remember, for instance, that there was a case where the individual was allowed to work for the competitor new company despite a noncompete, but was enjoined by the court from divulging anything of a proprietary nature to his new employer that he had learned while working for the previous company.

                        Always seek the advice of legal counsel, though - and that's the best advice any of us can give you. You might have a legal aid organization in your area that could help with this - try calling the county bar association or a law school in the area to find out how you can get free/cheap advice.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-11-2006, 06:40 PM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer
                          Noncompete agreements raise very complex legal questions that I doubt any of us are qualified to advise you about, I'm afraid - at least in the sense of advice that you should stake your livelihood on.

                          Some agreements have been very rigidly upheld by the courts while others have been held to be "unconscionable", "restraint of trade", "overreaching" (too long, too broad a geographic area involved, etc.), or that the terms do not form a proper contract because there was no consideration (something of value) given in exchange for the agreement, etc.

                          And, the objections above aside, in many cases the question seems to turn on the circumstances of the new employment as much as it does on the terms of the agreement itself. For instance, a court might want to know whether your former employer can show that it has actually suffered (not "might suffer") substantial harm by your going to work for a competitor.

                          One of the circumstances mentioned above is the position the employee holds in the new company relative to the position held in the old one. For instance, if you were one of the five top nanotechnology researchers in the country working under such an agreement and went to work for a competitor doing the same kind of research and in violation of its terms, I daresay your former company could and would enforce the agreement. In other words, even a court that doesn't usually "like" noncompete agreements might enforce one where there has been real damage to the former employer.

                          Another circumstance that can factor into a court's thinking is whether the employee can show that under the terms of the agreement he is prevented from earning a living in his chosen occupation.

                          In our line of work, where turnover is common, the "value" of an individual officer is obviously considered to be very low (as demonstrated by the wages companies pay), as opposed to a scientist, engineer, etc., so it's a lot harder to see the agreement being enforced. More to the point, it's also difficult to imagine that your former employer would think that the legal expenses of bringing the action would be worth it to try to prevent a security officer from working for another company.

                          But...if you walked out the door with trade information belonging to your former employer which you then used to damage your former employer, things might be different. I'm sure you have a better sense of ethics than that, though.

                          The main purpose of noncompete agreements is to protect a company from the loss of its trade secrets and other proprietary information...not to protect it from the possibility of losing clients, per se. I seem to remember, for instance, that there was a case where the individual was allowed to work for the competitor new company despite a noncompete, but was enjoined by the court from divulging anything of a proprietary nature to his new employer that he had learned while working for the previous company.

                          Always seek the advice of legal counsel, though - and that's the best advice any of us can give you. You might have a legal aid organization in your area that could help with this - try calling the county bar association or a law school in the area to find out how you can get free/cheap advice.
                          An interesting side note to your comments, is that there is a significant difference between a non-compete and a non-solicitation agreement. Many contract guard companies have ventured down the path of non-solicitations because non-compete's have been defeated in court over and over again due to the extremeity of the language in a non-compete - especially in "right to work" states (though I admit that Guardsmark seems to have a chokehold on the court system on this issue).

                          I have had both non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in my 20 years in the industry and I favor neither - yet if you are the owner/management team they seem to be a necessary evil of the business.

                          I am in complete agreement that getting advice from competent legal counsel is the best direction any of us could possibly give on this issue.
                          RJ Martin

                          "A Guiding Force In The Pursuit Of Protection & Peace Of Mind"
                          www.martinprotective.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by RJ Martin
                            I have had both non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in my 20 years in the industry and I favor neither - yet if you are the owner/management team they seem to be a necessary evil of the business.
                            Yes, they certainly have their uses. They need to be carefully crafted, show some sense of proportionality and fairness, and they should never be used in "blanket" fashion with all employees (a real source of courts finding that they are overreaching because you can't show sufficient justification for the agreement). Instead, they should be used only with respect to employees whose positions are such that their departure and subsequent employment by a competitor would represent a real danger to your business. In our industry, this would usually mean management personnel, for instance, and not individual security officers. Each state is different, of course.

                            It should also be mentioned that there is a difference between prohibiting officers from working for a competitor WHILE they are working for you and attempting to prohibit them from doing so AFTER they leave their employment with you. As a general rule, the former would be likely be upheld more often than the latter.
                            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Dragonfyre024
                              I was one of these officers affected by this. I moved onto Securitas into a better position anyway. Blumenthal is getting ready to restrict non-compete clauses and possibly even sue Guardsmark as well.
                              You're better off with Securitas, IMO. I know of two other accounts that Guardsmark has lost in this area because they charged a premium for their guards, but delivered basically the same or less service than other cheaper security companies.

                              Guardsmark's senior management consists of many college graduates who have never worked as security officers and are skilled in marketing/business administration. IMO, they will continue to lose clients until they sellout or revamp their way of doing things, much like IBM had to do back in the 90's.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Dragonfyre024
                                We can work for other companies but can't work back on the account we are being terminated from for 1 year. We can go back after that. But we can work for the new company just not at the site.

                                But here is the thing, we will take significant pay cuts, no one wants to match it, we will lose all seniority, and any accured vacation time.

                                My question becomes if our current company does not have any positions for us upon termination of this contract with the client, is the non-compete still enforceable?
                                Dragon, yes it does. Unless it had a clause in the agreement that if your laid off or whatever that it dosent apply in circumstances a or b or c or d etc etc, then you are bound to the letter of that agreement. Sry

                                Originally posted by Mr. Security
                                You're better off with Securitas, IMO.
                                I don't know if Securitas is national, but here in Oklahoma City, there is no way in God's green earth you would ever get me to work there even if all the patrol cars were Ferrari Enzo's and filled up with 100 dollar bills that you could keep. Reason being is atleast here they have a policy for their officers that you have to be hit >> 3 << times before you can even fight back. 3 times! No way lol.
                                Last edited by fatalflaw; 12-13-2006, 12:43 AM.
                                We may not be sworn in, have all the powers of arrest as a peace officer, or are able to run red & blues, but damnit, when the chips are down, the **** hits the fan, and the bullets are flying, me and an LEO share the same dumpster for cover, and spill the same blood in the same mud. All other differences are just details.

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