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Old 20.02.2008, 17:38
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dino dino is offline
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"non-compete" clause .... legal ?

A friend of mine accepted a position in a local consulting company about two years ago, and things have gone well for him until recently

He has just had his annual review, and they like his work, but his Swiss boss has told him, in so many words, that since he's Chinese, he should clearly not expect to go very far.. (i know, WTF )

he is good at what he does, so naturally wants to move on from this bigoted bunch. trouble is, he has only just noticed that among the clauses he agreed to when he first signed on, there is this gem that is called a 'no-compete' clause in the English world. if he leaves, he cannot work for another employer in the same industry for the following 12 months. in all of Switzerland !

he has asked, and his employer has no intention of letting him go. (the clause does not apply if they let him go). they have also suggested that he will not receive a nice reference if he leaves

i know he should have looked before he signed, but its too late for that now ...

a) would anyone know how the law would look on this? it is clearly unfair to forbid someone to practise the only trade he knows, for 12 months, in the entire country !

b) i know he can hire a lawyer, but are there other bodies he can approach for help? i hear about the arbeitslosen and the RAV.. should he be calling them first?

he is not looking to sue the employer, nor does he want unemployment (he has other offers). he just wants to leave in peace, get his reference, and be allowed to take another job, without fear that his ex employer will sue him for breach of contract
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