Non-compete clauses have been a mainstay within the tech industry for years in Florida. Other industries may also use these agreements, which require employees to promise to remain loyal to the company by legally preventing them from taking their job-related knowledge to competing firms. However, it appears that these clauses may have a negative effect on the very companies they are designed to protect, as employment law experts say that they actually limit worker productivity and motivation.
A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that workers are less likely to be highly motivated when they are subject to legal requirements that prohibit them from having job mobility. These employment contracts may also actually increase employee error for a variety of reasons. In a study, online participants were paid to perform a technical task. Individuals who were subject to a mock non-compete clause were far less likely to stick with the task, and they made more mistakes.
The results of the study may be extrapolated to industry leaders, which may be experiencing poor employee productivity because of these unfair employment agreements. Workers may feel as though they do not belong in their jobs, and they may be discouraged from exerting themselves and developing their skills, because they do not see positive job prospects in the future. It is clear that this type of performance loss could be have a greater impact than the loss of a single employee.
Although these findings are preliminary, the conclusion drawn from them could have significant ramifications in the American work system, where massive quantities of engineers and executives are required to sign the non-compete agreements. Those engineers and executives may be less likely to innovate and produce new ideas, according to existing research conducted within the industry. Interestingly, Silicon Valley and California are prohibited from having non-compete clauses, providing a real-life basis for comparison.
Employees who believe they have been unfairly subjected to employment contracts that limit their job mobility may benefit from consulting a qualified employment attorney. Those lawyers can help these individuals learn more about their legal options in Florida.
Source: Gigaom, “Non-compete contracts hurt worker productivity, study suggests” Jeff John Roberts, Jan. 02, 2014