Some of the folks supporting Amendment One have requested an “equal time” post in support of Amendment One. Their post is below. Now I just have to decide if in the spirit of equal time, I need to create 6 aliases to add comments below against Amendment one. 🙂
A “YES” vote on Amendment 1 is a “YES” vote for Georgia businesses
Much of my legal practice involves helping Georgia businesses resolve issues relating to employment contracts. It is a complex issue with terms rarely heard outside legal circles, such as “restrictive covenants,” “non-competes,” and “competitive agreements.” These concepts may be entirely foreign to many voters, although I use them frequently. That is why I want you to know more about Amendment 1 before you vote.
I want you to know that, as it now stands, this area of law is often time-consuming, expensive, and stressful for owners of businesses of all sizes. Georgia’s current approach to “restrictive covenants” and “competitive agreements” leaves businesses and employees with much uncertainty and often leads to costly litigation where otherwise valid contracts are thrown out of court for even the slightest of errors.
I want you to know that the legislation that Amendment 1 enables, which passed the House and Senate with strong bi-partisan support, goes to great lengths to protect employees from unfair agreements. After the passage of Amendment 1, most employees will not be subject to “restrictive covenants” or “competitive agreements” under any circumstances. After the passage of Amendment 1, such agreements will apply only to key employees, like executives or those with highly specialized training. Moreover, for the first time under Georgia law, any employee subject to this type of an agreement may not be bound by its terms if doing so would cause undue economic hardship.
In the end, Amendment 1 will make Georgia more economically competitive with states like Florida and North Carolina, modernize an uncertain part of the law, and do so while striking a fair balance between employers and employees. All of this is good for Georgia, and I hope you vote “YES” on Amendment 1.
Erika Birg, Esq.