Idaho Non-Compete Indentured Servitude: Does this actually happen?

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Idaho Non-Compete Indentured Servitude: Does this actually happen?

Postby Nate W. » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:07 pm

Dear Forum,

When I took my first academic position in 1994, my supervisor told me "give me two years, perform well, and I will gladly draft a helpful reference." The same thing happened when I took my first industry position in 1998, there was no expectation on future employment. However, today things have changed. I have talked about this in my other post whereby a supervisor thought he has the right to control a good employee's career by lying in reference (for anything outside of his lab) because he thinks he has a vested stake in his employees and a justifiable right to do so. This article got me thinking about many supervisors actually think this way and how many would act way the PI that I am referring to in my post.

This legislation in Idaho requires that all departing employees with a non-compete agreement to justify why the their departure is not a hardship to the employer. I have seen articles about this being done to some extent in academia with teaching and postdoc contracts. However, a self serving PI could do the same by lying in a reference w/o such a law. Or an industry employer could sandbag an Idaho employee that wants to leave with this legislation now.

Do managers actually think this way and would they act inappropriately to achieve their goals?

What are the damages and how would they enforce it? Is this actually "at will" employment?

Why would the new employer believe the old employer and fire the new worker? How do you explain this to prospective employers?

What do you do in these situations? ... e-law.html ... pe=article
Nate W.
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Idaho Non-Compete Indentured Servitude: Does this actually happen?

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:07 pm

Interesting content Nate, thanks for pointing this out. I wasn't aware that one State was behaving so backwards from the rest of them. Not sure if it implies anything about references (which you keep coming back to). But it certainly looks like they are seriously supporting big business instead of supporting startups. One article mentions it, but I'm certain that one reason California has done so well in places like San Fran and San Diego is that people are able to leave and start new companies. While they can't steal IP of course, they can certainly enjoy the freedom to get away from large organizations and start their own idea of what a good company might look like. Personally, I like that feeling. And I would want all people to have that.

I think I'll stay clear of Idaho with any new business ideas, that's for sure.

You might want to explain more about your connection to reference requests, Nate, because I had a hard time seeing the tie-in

Dave Jensen, Moderator
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
Posts: 7959
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Idaho Non-Compete Indentured Servitude: Does this actually happen?

Postby Steven Z. » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:44 am

In most states noncompete clauses are very rarely enforceable as written. They generally need to show that they are protecting a vital business interest such as not allowing a departing employee to poach all the company's clients, that the company reimbursed the employee to get him to sign it (not just sign or we won't hire you) in some cases paid salary for the duration, and show it is not overly broad and restrictive.

This is just another sample of one sided advantage employers are trying to create. We can fire you at any time but you need to give us notice and can't work for anyone else for 6 months. We can lie our @sses off but as an applicant you have to be 100% honest and give us your salary history. If you have any negative references we will believe them but those reviews on Glassdoor about us are just disgruntled ex employees.
Steven Z.
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:33 pm

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Michael and 17 guests