Amendment #1

September 25, 2010 11:47 am

by Jason · 46 comments

It isn’t what supporters say it is:

Lady Thinker September 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I think this Amendment is wrong and should not pass because it completely favors the employer. No employee can afford to be out of work in their chosen field of education and experience for two years.

Three Jack September 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm

vote no…who got this on the ballot?

NoTeabagging September 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I’d tell the prospective employer, “Fine, just agree to pay me two years salary at my current rate, or higher if offered by another company, should I leave this job for any reason.”

Jawgadude September 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

You own a small business and bring in an employee who you train and teach everything about your business, including proprietary secrets. That employee then puts himself out to the highest bidder among your competitors and soon destroys your business. You folks really want that? VOTE YES ON #1! (Especially if we truly want to attract hi tech and biotech firms we need the amendment)

Lady Thinker September 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm

What do you expect the employee to do for two years when you fire the employee who has created technology to increase your profits but with whom you no longer have a need for his/her services nor do you increase their salary?

AubieTurtle September 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Be the highest bidder. If you can’t, then you lose at being a capitalist. Make room for the superior competitor.

Or you can go crying to big daddy government to protect you in the market from those meanies who gosh darn it, are just better than you.

Sorry you suck at business but don’t force others into poverty because you don’t have the ability to rise to the level of the competition.

(Semi-serious, semi-trolling)

Steve September 26, 2010 at 9:43 am

Especially if we truly want to attract hi tech and biotech firms we need the amendment

You have GOT to be kidding. Your conclusion completely undercuts everything you had just said leading up to it. I work in the high tech field, and these are precisely the fields that do not train or make serious investments in their employees. They hire only those people who already possess the necessary experience, and can “hit the ground running” on day one.

The only purpose to a 2-year non-compete in such fields (or ANY field, really) is to trap workers in their jobs… taking an at-will relationship and making the at-will aspect entirely one-sided. The only two types of people who could conceivably support such a thing are: (1) business owners who know exactly what it means, or (2) fools.

Mr. Conservative II September 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm

It is not about protecting trade secrets. No company worth its salt is going to give those away to employees. These restrictive covenants are about protecting a crappy company when its good employees bail en masse to its competitors. Frequently, a poorly run company will tell its employees to sign these restrictions if they value their jobs .

Also, taxpayers should not have to subsidize these contracts by paying more unemployment comp. Vote Heck No on this dishonestly worded assault on the free market .

Rick Day September 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

JAwGa dude, I own a small business and I have been on the losing side of a no-compete when I lived in Tennessee. I worked 5 years in the printing field, developing accounts. I went to work for a guy who promised me the moon, then contracted cancer, went a little ‘off’ during chemo, fired me for no cause and held $15,000 in commissions to make me sign an even STRICTER no-compete. Oh yes, he kept all my accounts. Then he died and I had changed careers.

NO, HELL no, I won’t EVER make anyone sign a no-compete. It is nothing but pure assed greed on the employers part.

Amendment 1, what a piece of work!

Lady Thinker September 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I’m sorry to hear that happen to you Rick. I was going to vote no because it is a bad idea but now I will proudly vote no for the thousands of people like you who are, were, and will be victimized by these types of predators.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Amendment #1 is so typical of Rockefeller Republicanism.

No conservative in their right mind would vote for that amendment. If you cut an employee loose, you have no say so over what they do. If the employee uses a contact list or inside information for the benefit of a new employer, there are already laws against that if the knowledge could not be reasonably obtained without such inside or proprietary information.

hannah September 26, 2010 at 2:46 am

When politicians do the dirty work of the financial elite, I now consider the “pissant punitive pols.”

Doug Deal September 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

This is an abomination. The GOP “leadership” has failed us once again to push this through the legislature.

Competition through non-competition, that is ridiculously laughable.

I have had employers even try to claim in employee agreements they owned any intellectual property I develop for a year after I leave, even if I was terminated. Needless to say, I have refused to sign such documents. But, many people are faced with such things in bad faith, like the first day they show up to work or a sign or be fired situation.

If you want to keep good employees, freakin’ stop treating them like garbage.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Competition through non-competition

Downright Orwellian.

Harry September 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm

LT,

Maybe I oversimplify, but this Amendment looks like a contest of employers against trial lawyers. I will tend to be more sympathetic to the employers, unless there are many egregious abuses. I would need to see more evidence. How can we protect both sides of the employment contract while incurring minimal involvement of the trial lawyers, which involvement ultimately costs all.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Being sympathetic to employers when government is against them (regulation, taxation, etc.) is understandable and laudable.

Being sympathetic to employers so they can use government to decrease the freedom of individuals for their benefit is just beyond comprehension.

Harry September 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Good point. This Amendment needs more study, IMHO. For sure, in the current job market the deck is already stacked.

Lady Thinker September 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Good points Harry. My fear is the employers, knowing the scarcity of jobs, will take advantage of fears and press their employees into servitude that borders on bondage and financial slavery by giving up rights they would never consider if there were more jobs available.

fishtail September 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, in league with GOP legislative leadership, pushed this piece of garbage through the legislature. As Amendment #1, it will set the tone for “NO” votes straight down the Amendment list. Additionally, Sonny Perdue’s extension of the 400 toll will poison the transportation sales tax amendments. Way to go, you dumbasses!

Harry September 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I was already all in to oppose the transportation sales tax. Certainly by 2012 there will be many disgruntled customers along I-85 and GA400.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Conservatives need to keep in mind that business is not always the good guy. We should be all for protecting business from overregulation, taxation, union/government alliances, etc. so that business can operate freely, neither unduly encumbered nor unduly encumbering.

But businesses are, in the end, an aggregate of people. People as individuals have restraints and consequences through the law (murder, assault, theft, coercion, etc.) and the same principles should always be extended to aggregates of people, including businesses, unions, etc.

Harry September 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I couldn’t agree more, and in the next session of the legislature I hope we will see more sensitivity to your observation, especially as it involves favors to the transportation industry – MARTA, roadbuilders, consulting engineers, etc.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Following the logic of the goofballs that got Amendment #1 through, this would make Georgia more competitive:

Round up all the high tech professionals, successful salespeople, medical and dental professionals, and any other person proficient in a profession that is in high demand, and make them available to businesses moving into Georgia at minimum wage.

If we can remove the right to work for some, why not do it big time and really make Georgia competitive? If we protect a person’s right to work against unions, why not also against business?

Doug Deal September 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

+5

AtlConservative September 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I learned of this amendment after my company required me to sign a NEW non-compete (I had to sign one when I was employed). Their argument for the new non-compete was to “protect me – the employee.” Well, since I’m not an idiot, I started researching these changes. I was astounded that 1) the bills supporting this actually passed (there was the original change in the wording; then the bill to add the amendment to the constitution); 2) that Republicans not only voted for this, but were they were the sponsors of said bills; 3) people that I respect have apparently lost their minds!

I’ve read the comments above and I’m delighted to see that so many people understand how much damage this amendment would cause if it were to pass!

As for Jawgadude, have you heard of a nondisclosure agreement? Truly, you need to do more research!

Finally, I paid for my undergrad. I paid for my Master’s. If I am the best and my employer is so concerned about losing me, they should take care of me – I spend everyday taking care of them. I truly love my career and love my company, but I should have the freedom to stay or leave – they have the freedom to fire me or keep me on.

VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT ONE!!!

Vote Nathan Deal September 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I can’t wait to vote for Amend #1. Job belong to the employer. If you don’t like the terms of employment don’t work there!

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm

And when the employer no longer wants you in that job, they can fire you. This amendment allows the employer to interfere in the former employee’s freedom to work where he or she wants. The job may belong to the employer, but once an employee is no longer there, the employee doesn’t belong to the employer.

Why do you think an employer has the right to use government coercion to take away a fundamental right of a free individual?

hannah September 26, 2010 at 2:43 am

Tradition. It’s called “deprivation of rights under cover of law.” It walked in the door with the original Constitution and grows out of the belief that some humans are the property of other humans. You could blame its evolution on equality. Whereas originally only discrete populations were owned (wives, children, slaves, indentured servants), equal treatment demands that all people are equally liable to being deprived of their rights. It’s the only part of equality that the financial elite like — cheating everyone out of what they need to thrive.

Lady Thinker September 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

VND,

You must be the real shady deal or a family member of his to promote this amendment.

MSBassSinger September 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Would some of you folks who know more about the “inside information” than the rest of us blowhards please post the names of State House and Senate members who sponsored or supported this amendment. Regardless of party.

Doug Deal September 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm

It was nearly a unanimous vote. They all are idiots.

Doug Deal September 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm
Doug Deal September 25, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Sponsors:

House
(1) Levitas,Kevin 82nd
(2) Coan,Mike 101st
(3) Parrish,Butch 156th
(4) Wilkinson,Joe 52nd
(5) Lunsford,John 110th
(6) Smith,Richard 131st

Sponsored In Senate By
Cowsert,Bill 46th

AtlConservative September 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Here is the link to the House vote:
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/votes/hv0258.htm

Here is the link to the Senate vote:
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/votes/sv0358.htm

Here are the links to the voting record for the resolution to make this an amendment:
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/votes/hv0675.htm
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/votes/sv0735.htm

Finally, the reason this is an amendment to the constitution is that the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a bill in the 1990s that was very similar to HB 173.

ACCmoderate September 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Of course amendment 1 will be good for attracting business. It’s basically a glowing neon sign at the state line that says: “Dear companies… feel free to screw our workers”

Kilkenny Kid September 25, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I’ll be voting for amendment #1 to make executives live up to their agreements. Now many top executives thumb their noses at their signed agreements because of our screwed up state law and court decisions in this area. More than 40 states in the US have Amendment 1 already in place. If we are going to attract and retain HQs in Georgia, this must be fixed. If not, you can kiss high-tech operations in Georgia goodbye! Personally, I’d rather have them in Georgia.

AubieTurtle September 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

What good does it do to attract companies if the workers those companies need move away? Who is going to want to stay in a state in which an employer can use the force of government to push employees into poverty? Georgia does a very poor job of creating an educated work force but has done a good job of importing skilled educated workers from other states. Don’t expect this shortcut to last when workers find out that moving to Georgia means turning their right to earn a living over to their employer.

While I’m sure there are other states that think this is ok behavior, I seriously doubt there are forty states with laws that say the exact same thing as amendment one.

AtlConservative September 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

@ Kilkenny – you would rather kiss qualified candidates goodbye? Again, there are non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements to protect corporations – this is a matter of allowing employees to have the same rights as employers.

Harry September 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

“Qualified candidates” are in demand wherever the price/quality is favorable. More and more that isn’t the US. What Georgia can do to protect it’s employers or employees is almost a nonissue.

Harry September 26, 2010 at 2:12 am

Obviously I meant high-value employers and employees. The normal among us will muddle through.

hannah September 26, 2010 at 2:32 am

“competitive” in predator speak means “able to be destroyed.”

Jeff September 26, 2010 at 8:45 am

I voted ‘NO’ on the first four ammendments, ‘YES’ to Ammendment 5, which will allow owners of property in industrial sites to have their property removed from said industrial site.

bowersville September 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

Jeff, would you mind explaining Amendment 5.

What I would like to know is does the amendment allow a business to buy into an industrial site that was developed and subsidized by tax dollars to opt out without repaying the taxpayers?

macho September 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Seems like a very Libertarian measure.

Doug Deal September 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

It’s a rent seeking measure.

Brett Grayson September 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

Hyperbole aside, there is actually widespread agreement within both the legal and business communities that Georgia law is uncertain and confusing when it comes to drafting and enforcing non-competition agreements (See the December 2009 issue of the Georgia Bar Journal for a more in-depth look at this issue). This type of uncertainty, whether we are talking about the tax code or business law, is bad for businesses of all sizes in Georgia. One of the reasons that uncertainty in the law acts as a drag on business is because it breeds litigation. Litigation favors attorneys (some of whom might have a financial interest in preserving the status quo) not Georgia’s economic growth. This is precisely why Amendment 1 garnered overwhelming support from both political parties during the 2010 legislative session. The passage of Amendment 1 will clarify existing law, bring it in line with that of those states against whom we are competing for tomorrow’s jobs, and allow business owners (present and future) to protect the fruits of their labor within very reasonable limits.

Brett Grayson
Executive Director,
Jobs of Tomorrow

http://www.jobsoftomorrow.org

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