Monday, August 26, 2013

Contract and Violation

We make our students sign a one year contract to work for us when they wish to have free training.

The contract is crystal clear:

1) Training and Guest House is Free
2) You have to work for us for a period of 1 year - This is actual 12 months of work
3) We will pay for H1B if needed, we pay salary of $56,000 plus benefits
4) They will have a Non-Compete, in which they cannot join the vendor or the client where they have been placed.
5) Notice period is 3 months and you have to give me 3 month notice

I placed a kid at Wipro for a contract they had at Ford.  He finished 9 months of his contract and then decided to join Wipro full-time.

So I asked my lawyer (Yes, we have an in-house lawyer that works on contingency) to sue him for:

$50,000 - For Violation of his non-compete
$5,000 - For violation of his contract
$8,000 - For Guest House usage

As soon as I sent this letter to my lawyer to initiate the lawsuit, he calls me and says to me:

"OK, I still have to work for 3 months, I will back date the contract for 2 weeks so that way I just have to complete 2.5 months and then I am done."

I said no, you have to give a three month notice and there is no such thing as back dating a notice period.  I mentioned that even after he completes his contract he cannot work at Wipro or Ford since he was introduced to them via our initial  placement.

So, he says to me, "But once I finish your contract what does it matter what I do?"

Again I patiently explain that he has a non-compete.  Even after you complete your contract, you cannot join Wipro, since this will be a violation of his non-compete.  I explain that he can sit out for 1 year and then join, and than he is OK.

Anyway I have a feeling that he feels once he finishes his one year, he is done and that the Non-Compete does not apply to him.

Guys, the idea of a Non-Compete is that as an employee you do not usurp an opportunity that the company has introduced you to.

Courts have ruled consistently that Non-Competes are valid.

I did explain to our employee what a non-compete is, so in case he does violate it, we will sue him for violating his non-compete.  I think it will be a good test for the validity of our contract and maybe we will lose, but in case we do, we will sit with our lawyers and tighten the language to make it viable.

I do not think what I ask of my students is too much.

I just felt it was an interesting discussion, so I thought that I would share it.