Laws Have Changed:
Is Your Non-Compete Legal?
Employee turnover is a huge problem facing the childcare industry, it has been this way for a long time. One way employers have tackled this issue is to make their employees sign a non-compete agreement.
A non-compete agreement typically states that for a specific timeframe after you leave employment with your employer, you cannot compete with or work for another child care center within so many miles for a certain amount of years.
We used to use a non-compete in our centers, it was an effective deterrent against a teacher jumping ship to another center that may pay them a few cents more an hour.
But then our state changed the law, and they became illegal to use. Since then, we have stopped the practice we have only lost a handful of teachers to other centers in our area.
More and more states are tightening up on non-compete agreements, and in most states, they are not valid for childcare teachers. In the states that have tightened up their non-compete rules, they usually carve out an exception for senior salaried management only.
In some states like Colorado, an employer is breaking the law and committing a criminal act by bringing up a non-compete and in any way threatening or intimidating an employee over a non-compete agreement.
Before you make your employees sign a non-compete agreement, be sure to check with your attorney to see about the legality of such an agreement in your state. You may be surprised to see how much state laws have changed in the past couple of years.