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Non-competition clauses and the Michigan employee

For some Michigan workers, signing an employment contract may not be a simple task, especially if there's a non-competition clause associated with it. Generally, a non-competition agreement refers to a contract under which employees cannot join or start a venture similar to their current employers' company if they leave their employment. In employment law circles, there is a lot of debate over how far these contracts can go in restricting employees' freedom.

Employment laws may vary according to the state, and many states have laws that limit employee restrictions, such as non-competition, nondisclosure and non-solicitation clauses. Generally, employers have a relatively free hand in placing restrictions on highly-placed employees, such as a chief executive officer. CEOs have complete access to a company's details and these companies must protect their information. The CEOs are aware of their position and responsibilities, and thus accept these restrictions. For junior-level and entry-level employees however, these restrictions can be unfair.

One study found that more than 80 percent of companies have non-competition clauses in their employment contracts, and these clauses often remain in effect for a period of one to two years. If a lower-level employee is contractually obligated to stay away from competing companies, then that employee is left at a disadvantage when he or she chooses to look for a new job.

Many employees are not aware of the fact that employment contracts may be negotiable. Reports suggest that many workers, who are eager to get started on a new job, do not try to bargain over the contract or non-competition clause, and sign the contract readily.

The laws that regulate non-compete agreements can be hard to understand, and workers are often intimidated by employers into not asserting their rights. Employment law attorneys can help workers to understand how the law applies to their circumstances and help them fight for their rights.

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