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I have a job offer and they sent me some documents to sign. There is no non-compete agreement but in the termination certificate annex (That I certify I returned all stuff etc) there is a line that asks me to specify who I will be working with after I leave the company along with the position.

Is this common? I don't feel comfortable in this and can I not mention this when I decide to leave this company or if I do I will be sued? How to properly tell them I'm not comfortable with this in that case? (California based company if that matters. And its not a hard copy, its soft copy and I cannot strike anything)

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    Not sure if this qualifies as a full answer, because I really do think you should consult an employment lawyer. But you could just drive for Uber/Lyft for only one day after you leave. This way, if you do work for another company after that, you wouldn't need to tell them about that company. – Stephan Branczyk Jul 13 '18 at 11:43
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Edit (after learning that it was a soft copy)

If there is no hard copy to strike through, all you can do is tell HR etc that while you want to work for the company, you don't agree with that clause and request that it is removed.

Their response to that request will drive your next step.

Note that once you do sign, those conditions effectively become set in stone and will be nigh impossible to remove.


I would take the document, cross out that clause, initial the cross-out, take a copy of all documents and then return them to HR (or whoever) and note that you have made that change.

Then it becomes their issue to push on you if they want you to sign. Only at that point you have to decide what you want to do. More likely is that they will either ignore it or forget that it even exists - so when you do leave you can just pull up your copy of the document and "look at this!"

But IMHO there is no reason for them to know where you go. (Gee I wasn't going to work with anyone .. I'm taking 6 months off to travel!)

FWIW non-competes are pretty much unenforceable in California anyway.

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It is highly unusual and very misguided. It’s probably in the contract because someone thought it was a good idea, without considering what the candidate would think. They probably have no idea what they would do with that information.

So I would say that I cannot see any legitimate reason why they would want that information and ask for it to be removed.

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Hm, I would suggest you just tell them where you go next. You are in California, and non-competes are, apparently, rarely enforced due to state laws. But as Dan kindly points out in the comments you don't have a non-compete so why am I talking about one?

More to the point, where you go next is hardly a world-class secret. It will appear on your linkedin, on your CV, everyone at google will be able to work it out by checking where you go each day with your phone... heck, a company can just hire an investigator to follow you to work after you leave.

I have no idea why you would wish to dissemble from your company where you next go, but I also don't know why a company wants this on record. One assumes you can just not fill it in at the time, or write whatever you like, should this truly bother you. Nobody can force you to tell the truth outside a court of law, and I cannot see how a company could claim loss by being misinformed or not knowing where an employee works next

  • The second sentence of the question says in part "there is no non-compete agreement" – Dan Pichelman Jul 12 '18 at 13:09
  • @Dan oh man what a misread on my part. I'll edit to make sense of it, thanks for pointing out. – bharal Jul 12 '18 at 13:23
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    "Nobody can force you to tell the truth outside a court of law..." Unless, of course, you signed a contract that says you'll tell the truth, in which case you'll find yourself in a court of law being forced to give the company whatever relief the contract specifies and possibly monetary damages. – Blrfl Jul 12 '18 at 13:31
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    Going to court is expensive even if you win. Never sign anything unless you want to be held to what you signed. – gnasher729 Jul 12 '18 at 13:40
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    With all the illegal anti-poaching agreements that companies have had with each other. It's a bad idea to tell your former employer anything. And yes, they could find out, but better they find out once you're already well settled in your new job for a while. As to LinkedIn, it doesn't need to be updated right away either. – Stephan Branczyk Jul 13 '18 at 11:46
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It's not common, and it's not enforceable.. You can simply state that you quit, your last day is X, and your next job is undecided. If you "decide" one day after your last Friday that you'll start working at another company on Monday, that's no longer their concern. (Yes, I suppose there's a hypothetical world where they could sue you and find out you signed an employment contract with somebody else before leaving, but this sounds exceedingly unlikely, since they would have nothing to gain.)

As for why companies ask (and many will, although few would atttempt to bake it into the employment contract), many have special policies regarding certain competitors. For example, I've worked for one whose official policy was that anybody joining their biggest competitor was to have their access terminated and be placed on gardening leave the moment they announced their resignation.

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