Puzzled about confidentiality agreement

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stone
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Puzzled about confidentiality agreement

Unread post by stone » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:11 pm

It seems a few firms are demanding all their employees - including part-timers - to sign all-inclusive binding so-called confidentiality agreements. However, almost all of them also include non-compete clauses like this one:
Non-Compete:
The Employee agrees that during his or her employment by the Firm s/he will not participate directly or indirectly in the ownership or management of any enterprise engaged in such a business within Japan unless expressly consented to by the Firm.
or, even this one direct from Berlitz/Benesse lodged cleverly in its chivalrous-sounding "Code of Conduct" we find this all encompassing non-compete fecal nugget:

https://www.benesse.co.jp/english/brand/declare07.html
2. Prohibition of Conflicts of Interest
Conduct such as listed below that risks conflicts of interest with the Benesse Group is prohibited.

a) Cooperating with Competing Companies
For example, cooperating with a company that produces or sells products or services that compete with current or future products or services of the Benesse Group, such as by providing the company with confidential information or know-how acquired through work.

b) Conduct that Competes with the Benesse Group
For example, making unauthorized use of company assets or information acquired through work to start a business that conflicts with the interests of the Benesse Group.
Keep in mind that this is the same firm that went out of its way to sue union members who sued for wrongful termination Y110 million each (but lost):

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nb20120228a1.html
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20120904zg.html

I haven't worked for them but they sound like the TEPCO of eikaiwa.

For any part-time contractor, this kind of requirement sounds impossible to abide by - and I believe in reality few firms ever try to actually enforce such a ridiculous agreement -- "in return for part-time employment, you must agree not to work for any competitors". And, refusing to sign it would probably draw an abrupt negative reaction, so the practical conventional wisdom is to continue signing stupid unfair agreements with the minute risk they might actually turnaround one day and decide to enforce it.

Has anyone thought about this minor dilemma - albeit briefly?

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JD9
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Re: Puzzled about confidentiality agreement

Unread post by JD9 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:54 pm

Not Japan but my 2 cents and experience with confidentiality agreements.

I signed one post-graduation after taking a job as an aquaculture hatchery technician for a large farm in Aus. Worked there for 2 years and due to getting shafted by the hatchery manager and his lies started looking for another job. I got a job at a rival hatchery and then the shit hit the fan. It was laughable actually, I had the hatchery manager and the general manager red faced and screaming at me saying they were going to sue my arse off blah blah confidentiality agreement blah blah can't work in a rival hatchery for 10 years blah blah blah. I sat calmly through their entire tirade and once they finished pulled out rejection letters from over a dozen other jobs I applied for all around Aus in hatcheries farming numerous species (besides the one my old and new job focused on). The only job I was offered was surprisingly enough in the field I had focused my research on at Uni (which was one of the reasons i got a job with them in the first place) and the one I had the most experience. I said good luck getting a lawer to sign up for you! :FU:

I was perusing the net a few years later and laughed myself stupid to see that the general manager had jumped ship and was now working at the same place that I went to! FUCKHEAD!!! :FU:

Unless you're actively stealing information / products / clients, selling shit on the sly or trying to harm the reputation of the company in someway it's all puffed out chests and empty threats AFAIK. :willnilly:
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sos
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Re: Puzzled about confidentiality agreement

Unread post by sos » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:20 am

back in the day, part timing with Interac (?) I think there was something like that. When I asked the manager about it, explaining as a PT I needed other schools to well live, he told me as long as the other schools I worked for didn't do company classes (I was in the corporate teaching group of Interac) and I didn't poach any of the Interac students, I would be fine.

There was another really local school who had a policy of not hiring teachers who did private lessons as the manager was terrified of having his students stolen.


Personally, I would just ask what is meant. I know in Interac's case they didn't want to show "sos"'s profile to A company for their Tuesday lessons and have their competitors show my resume for the Friday lessons. It was a case of not being embarrassed. Also each company has their own rate, so if the same teacher is available...
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inflames
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Re: Puzzled about confidentiality agreement

Unread post by inflames » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:38 pm

stone wrote:It seems a few firms are demanding all their employees - including part-timers - to sign all-inclusive binding so-called confidentiality agreements. However, almost all of them also include non-compete clauses like this one:
Non-Compete:
The Employee agrees that during his or her employment by the Firm s/he will not participate directly or indirectly in the ownership or management of any enterprise engaged in such a business within Japan unless expressly consented to by the Firm.
Has anyone thought about this minor dilemma - albeit briefly?
You'd be surprised how many places don't want to employ someone who owns or manages a competitor.

Most of these clauses are worthless and can be safely ignored.


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