Monday, October 25, 2010

Georgia Ballot: Vote NO on Amendment 1

On November 2nd, the Georgia ballot will contain several proposed amendments. Amendment 1 very misleading. Vote "No" on amendment 1! This amendment makes it easier for companies to enforce "No-compete" contracts that actually restrict competition during and after employment. No-compete contracts are already legal. They allow companies to protect trade secrets for a reasonable time. But what if out-of-state companies could keep Georgians from starting businesses that were perceived as "competition"? What if a company could keep you from working for their competitor for the rest of your life? What if they could keep you from starting a business, ever? Would they do it? Of course they would! Fortunately, Georgia law has checks and balances that keep no-compete contracts from becoming too restrictive. Georgians have a right to work! Entrepreneurs have a right to start their own businesses. Georgia law currently prevents corporations from over-reaching in their attempts to restrict workers from getting a new job. We don't need an amendment that will make it easier for businesses that want to have a monopoly in an industry; especially a vague amendment that can easily be misconstrued. True, the amendment would allow "blue-penciling" by judges, which makes some sense. But can we actually trust judges to comprehend the nuances of every contract that comes before them? The consequences of allowing judges to blue-pencil contracts can have unforeseen consequences. Judges in some states, for instance, have actually tried to make revisions of contracts (rather than just blue-lining undesirable portions of the contracts). That is an illegal use of the blue-pencil rule, though the judges may not have intended to abuse the law. Contracts can be confusing ~ even to judges. Currently, if a contract is too confusing, a Georgian judge simply voids the whole contract. This is a safer route than trying to rewrite the contract in court. If we need clarification of our no-compete laws, let it be done through multi-party commissions that compile state guidelines for companies; or through legislation; but not through a series of complicated judicial decisions! Leave the law alone. Vote NO on Amendment #1.

Here is the amendment:
Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?
Does this sound like an amendment that actually RESTRICTS COMPETITION DURING AND AFTER EMPLOYMENT? No, it does not. Don't be fooled by the fraudulent wording of the amendment. Just say NO!

Reference articles: s
T. Michael Flinn: Vote NO on Georgia Proposed Amendment 1,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=12&cntnt01returnid=68

Ballotpedia: Georgia Employment Contract Enforcement,_Amendment_1_(2010)

The Political Vine: The Inside Dope on Georgia Politics

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