I work for a contracting company -- that is, I am a regular employee of the company, it does contract design work for others. One of our customers is requesting that employees working on their project sign a separate contract with them (the customer). In other words, there would be a contract between the customer and the company, and separate agreements between the customer and every individual employee working on the project. The separate agreement is a confidentiality agreement that includes a non-compete, which I have a problem with.
Is this at all normal? -- I have never seen it before, but until recently I've always been the customer and never made any such requests.
A few notes: While I am located in California, where non-competes are pretty much unenforceable the contract is written to be interpreted under the laws of Taiwan (which has protections against non-compete too, but not as strong). Future work that my company or I do will likely involve Taiwanese companies as they are very large players in our industry. While it may be that the non-compete would not be upheld in court I would like protection for the costs of any defense.
The customer contract appears to be written by non-fluent English speakers (many grammatical and spelling errors. I have tried correcting and removing the objectionable parts, but the customer rejected my changes out of hand saying this is the contract they use and "everyone else signs it without problem." Given the size and reputation of the company it is likely that any review of contract changes would not happen, or would take an irrationally long time (which is why I am thinking it is easier to just be indemnified by my employer).
How can I voice my concerns with my employer about signing this agreement?