Motorola Trying To Block Competitors From Hiring Workers It Laid Off

from the insult-to-injury dept

We already think that noncompete agreements don't make sense for companies, but Motorola may be taking the concept to a new level. Rather than trying to stop employees from leaving Motorola to go to a competitor, it's now trying to stop employees it already laid off from going to work for RIM. Motorola had already sued RIM earlier this year for trying to entice employees to jump ship, and this followed another suit by Motorola against Apple for hiring away an exec. Maybe rather than trying to prevent employees from going elsewhere, Motorola might want to focus on improving its own offerings and its own working conditions so that this isn't even a problem? But if it's laying people off, it seems rather ridiculous to then try to stop them from joining another company.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Hard working guy, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 4:54pm

    Pricks

    "But if it's laying people off, it seems rather ridiculous to then try to stop them from joining another company."

    It's grossly unfair that's what and should be illegal.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    inc, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 5:06pm

    It's such crap. These companies throw you out on your ass then get mad you that you need to work to eat. God forbid you end up at the competition.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Flack, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 5:27pm

    Buyout?

    The article doesn't say whether the employees accepted a buyout package.

    In the '90s I got 42 weeks of pay as a buyout for leaving Apple. The restriction, don't work for a competitor. Six years later I left Motorola, they were giving very good packages in 2001 also - same limitations.

    Flack

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Dec 29th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

    Pay Them

    If you limit their ability to seek other employment, the company laying the people off should give them some reasonable stipend.

    I would also take a layoff to be an adverse action that should "void" any contract, but then I am not a lawyer.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Me, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 6:11pm

    Do Not Worry

    Non-competes do not stand up in court and cannot be enforced. Don't worry about it.

     

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  6.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 29th, 2008 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Do Not Worry

    Non-competes do not stand up in court and cannot be enforced. Don't worry about it.

    In California that's true. Elsewhere it's not true at all. Non-competes do, quite often, stand up in court. But this isn't about non-competes specifically, but about a specific agreement between both companies not to solicit employees.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    TR, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 8:10pm

    Unfortunately at my company we had a consultant who worked for a consulting company. Once he finished the work, said consulting company laid him off as there was no more work for him, my company offers him a job. Said consulting company wont let worker be employed by us b/c of companies contracts between the two that state my company cannot hire consulting companies employees. utter crap as worker is now jobless...

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    f2point8, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 8:15pm

    non-compete

    Why is a non-compete contract considered non-nego? You can get termination concessions if you insist.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    MS, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    Should be illegal

    Asking your employees to sign a non-compete should be a felony. Slavery is illegal. There's alread enough IP protection. Companies don't need non-competes to protect their IP. Companies use non-compete contracts to frighten and control their employees.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Cheese McBeese, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 8:23pm

    Motorola was infected by a GE cancer named Mike Zafirovsky. Fortunately for Moto, the Moto board recognized the disease and purged him from the company (and then made a bad choice and brought in Zander). Nortel then hired MZ and paid him $25M to compensate him for violating his non-compete agreement with Moto. What has MZ done with Nortel since? He's led them through a 99% decline in market cap, pushed out the people who knew the business, and brought in his cronies. A large global company has been destroyed.

    So what's the point? Follow your gut - keep the people you need and do not pay non-compete settelements for the people that you don't want. Better to let them ruin your competitors from the inside.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Dec 29th, 2008 @ 8:59pm

    Non-compete agreements should be considered null and void if the company lays the worker off, period.

    That's silly - it's bad enough they can the person.

    Funny though - how Motorola claims they need to cut back on workers for their company's sake - but I'm sure they have the cash to sue ex-employees if necessary.

    Should make one think twice about investing in companies with that logic.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 12:09am

    Motorola is a rapidly dying and obsolete company, and this is just one more indication of that.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 2:33am

    Easy Solution To THAT Problem

    Once upon a time, I worked for the Mob as a Hit Man. But my boss only wanted to pay me by the hit, and refused to provide the "piece" to do the hit with. I went to him and told him I was happy with the money, but would like a few perks, so he fired me.

    I went across town and got another job from the fellas there, and the boss treated me great. He gave me use of a long black limo complete with a driver and a color tv and a cell phone. He gave me a nice looking tailored suit and a snappy looking leather briefcase with several custom made "pieces" inside, with foam rubber cushions encasing each one. He made arrangements with a local deli to feed me and my friends any time we dropped in. And he paid me the same money per assignment as my former boss.

    When my old boss found out, he was MAD and paid me a visit. My new briefcase came in handy that day. Also my chauffeur was very cooperative in disposing of the 200 pound bag I gave him to take to the dump. And my boss gave me "proof" that I was with him at the racetrack all that day, and has expanded my territory to include my old turf.

    Lesson: Always treat your current and former employees like family. If you treat them like a load of crap, they might soon be treating you like a load of crap.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    AJ, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 3:57am

    Re: Easy Solution To THAT Problem

    Nice story. Delivered well and on topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 4:23am

    Add another -10 to "big business"

    "Always treat your current and former employees like family. If you treat them like a load of crap, they might soon be treating you like a load of crap."

    One day, a mouse was stunned when the company it worked for let it go. When the mouse asked why it was being let go, the reply was "downsizing". But the mouse wasn't satisfied, so it asked a relative in HR and was told the mouse designed the best cheese recipe and has outlived its usefulness.

    The mouse was upset, but figured it could get a job easily enough. The mouse interviewed and interviewed, but nothing came about. The mouse was curious, and has inquired why it wasn't being hired, especially given the skills it had.

    "You worked for the competition", was the reply. "We can't afford taking you on with the risk your recipes will violate the noncompete you signed."

    So now, the mouse is working at Walmart, having its expertise in recipe design wasted.

    Despite treating its company as family, the mouse was still crapped on.

    Or did you completely skip over the blog relating to the creator of the Bratz collection and losing to Mattel?

    These kinds of "contracts" should be illegal.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Paul M. Bass, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 4:43am

    Motorola Non-compete

    Motorola has a right to enforce the non-compete clause against laid-off employees for as long as those workers are accepting a severance pay package (usually pay plus benefits) from Motorola. After that, they are on their own and have a right to find another job anywhere; in fact, most of them will have to.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Rd4sndk, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    I thought 6 sigma was the answer to Motorola's problems

    How's that 6 sigma working for you now Motorola? All over corporate America at least in high tech companies, 6 sigma is one of several means by which promotions are valuated. American companies have been take over by these idiots of meaningless drivel. How about some innovation that matters? One of the reasons why the iphone is so much more popular and profittable than motorola's offerings is the iphone provides functionality never seen before in a handset and provides customers with a much richer user experience. Instead of spending hours on 6 sigma training, Apple actually spent more time finding out how to improve users experience. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Tyco, motorola etc all exhibit the same problem in Corp America, they are run by non-innovative management. Until America purges itself of these bloated salary useless senior managers we will continue to loss grown to Japan, EU and other countries.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Former Employee, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    Get Over it Motorola!

    Too bad Motorola could not exploit its great talent base and avoid layoffs versus trying to halt another company for wanting to use the talent.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    NortelEmployee, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    Re: I thought 6 sigma was the answer to Motorola's problems

    I can tell you that since Mike Z took over and brought this 6 Sigma concept to Nortel, it is not working out too well at all. It is just a means to evaluate where they can cut next and to me, not a very effective one. I have seen people laid off who have an enormous amount of talent and skill just to keep the yes men. Ridiculous and a waste of everyone's time.....

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    gene_cavanaugh, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Preventing laid off workers from joining a competitor

    Clearly unconstitutional, and there was a time the company would even be subject to penalties for trying.
    Oh, how the world has changed since Reagan started the "think with your heart" crap!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    gene_cavanaugh, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Preventing laid off workers from joining a competitor

    Clearly unconstitutional, and there was a time the company would even be subject to penalties for trying.
    Oh, how the world has changed since Reagan started the "think with your heart" crap!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Re: I thought 6 sigma was the answer to Motorola's problems

    6 sigma was a costly mistake for home depot too. It cost a $230M severance package *just* to show the door to the former-GE Exec. Now that piece of work is at Chrysler.

    SuxSigma: Driving the economics of fail since 1975.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Bunny, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    Would a slave be better off?

    At least an antebellum slave could expect to be sold to a new owner, who would want to feed that slave because the slave, BEING VALUABLE PROPERTY, not only needed to be fed in order to maintain the investment, needed to be well fed in order to strong enough to work and make money for the new slave owner.

    This is how we find out that our lives are completely worthless to these people. We are held in worse contempt than slaves and they would prefer that we not eat and (worse?) that we don't upgrade our cellphones.

    For shame!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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