Mitchell A. Kramer, a senior partner of the law firm of Kramer & Kramer, offers a scenario that no distributor rep or company really wants to face, but without proper follow through, often individuals may find themselves in when transitioning from one company to the next.

You are looking for a position, perhaps to change jobs or get a sales manager’s position. You may be trying to get into the business or you are trying to move up in the business. You see potential that will last you a lifetime.

Your hard work pays off, and you are offered a position and a contract as a sales rep or sales manager for a medical distributor. You have agreed to the commission rate or compensation. The benefits are what you had been told they would be. But your eyes glaze over as you try to read the sections in the contract labeled “Non-Compete and Confidentiality.” You know that you cannot compete with your new employer while you are working for it; that only makes sense. So you skim over the words “and for one year after your employment is terminated.” Either you miss the words completely and do not recognize that you are being asked to sign away one year of your working life, or you believe that such post-termination, non-competition provisions will not be enforced. Every agent “knows” that those provisions are meaningless. Unfortunately, every agent is wrong.

To read Kramer’s article on non-compete contracts, and why reps should do their homework before signing one, click here

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