[The poaching thread] has me wondering, what do other non-competes look like in the chemical industry, and how many of us are bound by them? Furthermore, has anyone actually been sued because of their non-compete?
I recently had a conversation with a family member who is [a medical professional]. She pointed a job out to me that was with a company that is essentially a competitor to my current employer. I told her that I was uncomfortable applying for that job, and explained that while I am a good fit for the position, accepting a job at that company would open me up to liability.
During the conversation, I explained that a non-compete has always been part of the employment paperwork that I sign. Then, I began to realize that it was a little odd that when you start becoming an expert in a (sub)field, you may have to completely abandon it if you want to change jobs, for fear of being sued.I'll be honest and say that I've never been important enough to merit a non-compete, although I've been bound by a number of non-disclosure agreements. (My favorite part of my last day at the Blue Pill Factory was being handed a copy of the NDA I had signed on my first day. Well played, paperwork folks, well played.)
I suspect that non-competes are rarely enforced, but I assume that threats of lawsuits are quite common. (It seems that employers will play all sorts of tricks to claim legal territory that is not technically theirs. 'Twas ever thus.) Here's a blog dedicated to non-competes (there's a blog for everything!) and an article that argues that they hurt employees (surprise!)
I don't think Big Pharma uses them at any level, but I don't know about the broader chemical industry. Readers?