A cancer patient has found themselves in a complicated phase after being told by their former employer to sign a non-competence clause, after bagging a second job.
Employees can get fired under different circumstances but what if you are battling a life-threatening ailment and all of a sudden, your company decides to fire you? u/WhitePinoy on Reddit found themself in a tricky situation where their company not only fired them after putting them on an employee performance improvement plan (PIP) but the employers also expected the person to sign a non-competency clause after they left.
Feeling helpless, the person turned to the Reddit community, asking for any sort of valuable advice with a post that was titled: "My former employer is forcing me to sign a non-compete clause after I found a new job in a month after they fired me." The poor employee who lost their job was undergoing radiation therapy for their possible cancer treatment as well. "To make a long story short, my former employer placed me on a PIP, a month after I finished radiation therapy," the post began. "For the two months I was on the PIP, I learned how mismanaged my department was, and I was let go a week earlier than expected."
"As soon as I was fired, I went on an aggressive and depressing job hunt and was interviewed by three companies. The company that picked me, hired me in less than a week after the interview. They are employee-owned, give bonuses every month, make you work from home twice a week and have a day off every other week," the post continued. However, recently the person got an email from their former in-house hiring manager who informed the person that they have to sign a contract and agree to refuse employment with another company that is in direct competition with them for the next 3 years.
"They told me that I have until next Friday to send the documents back with my signature, or serious litigious consequences will follow," the person concluded their post, adding that it has been more than a month since they left the previous job and since they are new in this industry, they are feeling pretty clueless. "It seems like they want to make me unemployed or make it difficult for me to find work elsewhere. I am very new to my industry and I only recently got a promotion. I honestly don't need any of this stress. What should I do?" the employee asked at the end.
The community was left in shock after reading about the misery of the original poster. Many called out the organization where the person was previously employed and some dropped in with advice that can prove to be helpful in this situation. u/ReaverRogue assured: "I promise you, there’s nothing they can do. They can’t enforce a non-compete after the fact and without a signature. Think it through logically. They’re just trying to scare you into it, but for the most part, non-competes are very hard if not impossible to enforce anyway. They’re too broad in scope. Ignore them. Absolutely nothing will come of it."
u/DisposableMiner wrote: "Don't sign it. They have no leverage at all. Firing you after medical leave is already borderline illegal. Simply do not respond to them at all." u/hcth63g6g75g5 commented: "Do not respond to them. Don't tell them where you work. Do not discuss why you won't sign it. Don't discuss anything. If they have an HR, they messed up, and not getting you to sign something at the time of hire. You got away from a poorly run company, enjoy it."
u/Freshman142 suggested: "Alternative option: Tell your former employer you will consider a non-compete, in exchange for 3 years of pay at 10 times your last salary. Also, ask them what they are offering in consideration for the non-compete. Use the word 'consideration' specifically. A contract that does not give something is often void." u/mandrack3 added: "No need to be stressed. They are banking on your naivete and lack of experience. If the mismanagement you were talking about is criminal by any chance, I would be petty enough to contact all the labor boards with an ear to listen to a good complaint."