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 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 1
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So I am currently in the market for a new job. I resigned from my last job last week. I have been working in the Aerospace industry for the last several years and would like to continue in that same industry. Yesterday, I came across a situation that I never thought I would encounter.

Last November, a friend of mine who works at another local aerospace company (not a competitor) told me they they had a position open for a supervisor and that I should submit my resume, which I did. I never heard anything back from the company. So when I submitted my two week notice with the company a few weeks ago, I sent them yet another resume. Again, I heard nothing.

Yesterday, my friend who originally told me about the position, came by my house and said that he had heard that I had quit my job and that it was a good thing because my company and his company had a deal that they wouldn't hire each other's employees. That if someone from one company submitted a resume to the other company, it would just be thrown in the garbage and not even considered, but now that I had quit, I could be interviewed.

I now have an interview set up for the end of this week. And it's all because I quit my last job.

Has anyone ever heard of this kind of situation? Is this even legal? These two companies have basically made a deal to basically eliminate local salary competition, and none of the average Joe floor workers are aware of this. If not illegal, this is obviously highly unethical any way you look at it.

I know that "equal opportunity" typically refers to race, religion, sex, etc...but could it also refer to current employment?
 jelunc
Joined: 8/24/2008
Msg: 2
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Posted: 2/3/2010 5:38:56 AM
There are all kinds of agreements like this, I believe.
Non- competition contracts are pretty common.
I suppose they worry about espionage.
It does seem a bit odd as typical wisdom is that one should retain a new position prior to leaving employment.
Good luck.
 Tokie-Oh!-Roze
Joined: 8/13/2009
Msg: 3
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Posted: 2/3/2010 5:46:23 AM
Yes, there are all kinds of non-compete clauses between businesses, employers and employess. And, yes, they are perfectly legal. You may have inadvertantly signed one when you got your original job.

 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 4
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Posted: 2/3/2010 6:04:55 AM
Yes, there are all kinds of non-compete clauses between businesses, employers and employees. And, yes, they are perfectly legal. You may have inadvertently signed one when you got your original job.

I have signed these type of agreements that pertained to going to work for competitors. But as I pointed out, these two companies aren't in any way competitors. While they are both in the aerospace fields, the company I WAS working for builds helicopters while the other company builds UAV's (basically unmanned spy planes). So they are not competitors.

And as for me signing something claiming I wouldn't go to them when I originally hired, that is impossible since the other company didn't even exist when I was hired. It's a rather new company.

The problem is that when the other company was created, a lot of people left my company for "greener pastures", so to speak. within a year or so, people who started at the ground floor of the other company were coming to my company for better opportunity. So the two companies got together and decided not to hire the other company's employees. There were never any agreements amongst the employers and their employees. At least not at my job. I can't speak for the other company yet.

And for anyone to think that his thread is out of "pity"...I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but it's not. I quit my last job. And I already have an offer for another that I am still considering. I don't need pity. I'm just starting to realize that a lot of people in my area who work for these two companies will be and perhaps already are getting screwed by these two companies by not being informed of their hiring practices. When 10% or more of our population is unemployed, the last thing we need are stupid agreements like this between companies that make it impossible to find new work without quitting your job. No one should have to quit a job before being considered by another company. This only drives the unemployment rate even higher.
 Funcuz
Joined: 1/16/2009
Msg: 5
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Posted: 2/3/2010 6:37:56 AM
Yup... it's pretty common actually.
It's also perfectly legal and in the best interests of each company.
I wouldn't really say it was unethical either to be honest. Workers have unions if they don't feel they're getting enough. Well , employers have bills to pay too and they're interested in making profits as well. There's nothing I find particularly ethical about stealing each others' employees. Actually , it seems more unethical than otherwise. That it doesn't confer certain privileges on the potential transient employees doesn't make it unethical for the companies in question to limit said transience.

Every new employee hired at virtually any company worth naming usually costs said company more than just the employee's wage. There is a learning curve involved that has some very often substantial indirect costs associated with it. Having worked in the restaurant industry for well over a decade I can give you an example using a new cook.
-A newly hired cook must be provided with training (whether on the job as a shadow or prior to actually cooking) Every hour spent learning is an hour not spent producing. Employers must shoulder the burden.
-New cooks make a lot of mistakes. When it's just wasted food , it's not that bad. Worse though is when a new cook makes a mistake that costs a restaurant a customer. That's not just a dollar or two , that's potentially thousands over the years. It's also lost customers who haven't even tried the food at a restaurant (reputation)
-New cooks take longer to do everything even if they have years of experience at some other place.

All together , the last time I heard a ball-park figure , new cooks cost anywhere from $500 to $2000 in indirect costs. In the aerospace industry , this figure must be exponentially higher.

That's why so many businesses have chosen to have hand-shake agreements limiting who they'll hire. These agreements are generally focused on limiting the turnover of low-level staff since that's where the turnover is always the highest and they generally constitute the greatest percentage of employees as well. If you think about it , it's not really unethical either ... you can apply for a job at either company , you just can't do it while you're actually employed at one of them. It works to your advantage in some regards as well since it ensures that you won't leave on a whim and that furthers your probability of getting hired on at the alternative company. All companies understand that new-hires and their associated costs are just a fact of life. That they would try to mitigate these costs as much as possible doesn't strike me as unethical. They're not really limiting your freedom of choice per se as you can still apply at either place. They just don't want people going around wage-shopping once so much cash has been invested in those same people. These agreements are also designed to limit the number of people who compulsively do this wage-shopping and it's usually after a company has had it happen once too often that they've blown cash on somebody and that person subsequently (and quickly) turns around and goes to work at another company that the companies decide to do something about it. A good employee doesn't really have much to worry about as evidenced by the fact that you yourself (OP) were hired on by the competition.

Don't get me wrong , I understand where you're coming from here OP. At first blush it does seem "low" in a way. However , as I said , there is a legitimate reason for these policies , a good employee doesn't really have much to worry about , and in the end , if you're determined to quit a job , you're probably going to do it whether you've got something lined up or not.
 WillSAK
Joined: 1/27/2010
Msg: 6
Questionable Hiring Practices
Posted: 2/3/2010 6:55:10 AM
I heard this through a coworker so I am not sure how accurate this is. Someone I worked with a long time ago had put in his 2 weeks notice. Then he had a chance to work for a competitor, but had to wait a long time (1 year maybe) before he could work for a competitor. The company we worked for was splitting off the work we did into 2 departments. He knew which department he would be in if he stayed. He withdrew his 2 weeks notice until after the split. Apparently, he found a loophole. He could go to work for a competitor if his specific duties were not the same. The department split put him into a different type of work then he would be doing after going to work for the competitor.
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 7
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Posted: 2/3/2010 7:15:18 AM
If the companies are privately owned (as in not mandated by a government agency or union), they can hire at their own discretion. Equal opportunity doesn't apply to most workplaces unless they want to do business with another company or agency that requires this to be a part of their hiring practices.

Basically, what you're asking is if you were being discriminated against at the time that you did not get an interview. The answer is no... they are under no obligation to interview you simply because you applied.
 readyfornow
Joined: 5/15/2009
Msg: 8
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Posted: 2/3/2010 10:32:42 AM
You didn't mention being subject to a non-compete, so I assume you didn't sign one. Back door "handshake agreements" are made between companies all the time. I've seen it happen before. Good luck with your interview.
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 9
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Posted: 2/3/2010 10:36:21 AM
First off, thanks for the responses. After taking into consideration what has been said, I would like to respond to some of the individual points that have been made.



There's nothing I find particularly ethical about stealing each others' employees.

I can agree with you here. It would be completely unethical for a company to try to steal another company's employees. Which means that I think a company shouldn't target employees of other companies in an attempt to recruit them. I do agree that this would be unethical. But no one is trying to recruit people from my company after they have been trained, or visa versa. I'm the one submitting my resume. Not the other way around.



I heard this through a coworker so I am not sure how accurate this is. Someone I worked with a long time ago had put in his 2 weeks notice. Then he had a chance to work for a competitor, but had to wait a long time (1 year maybe) before he could work for a competitor.

This is a very likely situation. When I was in the robotics field, I did work for companies who made their employees sign agreements that prevented them from quiting and going to work for competitors. I have signed these contracts before. But as I have pointed out, not only did I not sign such contract with this company, but these companies aren't competitors at all.



If the companies are privately owned (as in not mandated by a government agency or union), they can hire at their own discretion. Equal opportunity doesn't apply to most workplaces unless they want to do business with another company or agency that requires this to be a part of their hiring practices.

This is a good point. These companies are both privately owned. However, both companies also rely heavily on government contracts, so they do advertise themselves as equal opportunity employers in order to comply with government regulation and to be more heavily considered for future contracts.

That being said, it almost seems as if a company who advertises itself as an equal opportunity employer should not be tossing resumes aside just because of the company the person currently works at. How is that in any way equal opportunity?

And yes, I do agree and understand that just because I give someone a resume I'm not entitled to an interview. But on the flip side, working for a specific, non-competitive company shouldn't automatically disqualify anyone from getting an interview either.
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 10
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Posted: 2/3/2010 11:40:18 AM

This is a good point. These companies are both privately owned. However, both companies also rely heavily on government contracts, so they do advertise themselves as equal opportunity employers in order to comply with government regulation and to be more heavily considered for future contracts.
You do also realize that equal opportunity employers have no mandate for the type of situation you're describing right? EOE companies are required to have in place affirmative action hiring methods and action plans to ensure that they have participation of minorities and women in the workplace.

In order to claim discrimination, you need to ensure that you are being discriminated against. To not take your resume into consideration because of current employment is not a discriminatory act.


And yes, I do agree and understand that just because I give someone a resume I'm not entitled to an interview. But on the flip side, working for a specific, non-competitive company shouldn't automatically disqualify anyone from getting an interview either.
As a person that has been front line for reviewing resumes for many, many years, I've legally dismissed resumes based on a variety of reasons. Where the person currently lives, the person's education history, their work history, their verbiage in their cover letter, that they did not include a cover letter, that they attended a certain post secondary institution.

I understand your ire at having heard why you were not receiving an interview, I'd probably be irked as well... but ultimately, it's the company's right to define exclusions for their hiring process. This one just happened to have worked against you for a time...
 BigDaddyJinx
Joined: 11/4/2006
Msg: 11
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Posted: 2/3/2010 2:17:33 PM
OP -- What you described happens more often than you'd realize. Unless Federally/Provincially regulated (or likewise) they can do as they see fit, as long as it is not illegal or discriminatory. The two companies have done neither. Not illegal, nor discriminatory.

Non-compete clauses? Yes, they do happen, are often enforced, BUT...seldom enforceable. You say that these two companies are not direct competitors, so that rules out the non-compete.

So what I see is two companies in the same industry. Nothing more. Though not direct competitors, they ARE both in Aerospace. So that alone tells me that they managed to segue into a discrete agreement between them to not hire off/hire away from one another. Perfectly legal. Once you are an "ex employee", you now would be able to apply as anyone else would. As you've seen.

Agreements such as the one you say they have - quite common. It prevents ship jumping, and prevents the "If you don't pay me $X then Company XYZ down the road will!" in negotiation tactics. It's shrewd for sure...definitely has some practical benefit to the employers.

I wouldn't sweat it though OP. Just concentrate on the interview and good luck.
 platypus_man
Joined: 8/29/2007
Msg: 12
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Posted: 2/4/2010 2:41:18 AM

It's also perfectly legal and in the best interests of each company.
I wouldn't really say it was unethical either to be honest. Workers have unions if they don't feel they're getting enough.

I won't debate whether it is unethical or not. But this is one of the many reasons why the workers should always have unions. Business leaders don't always make public their 'behind the scenes' agreements either; I know of one woman who was essentially black listed from her occupation in an entire city area because there were only a few companies she could work for, and after having a problem with one manager, said manager went to the owner of the company to make sure she wouldn't work again; word spread and she couldn't get a job in her field with anyone. She wound up moving here, and has since had no troubles with anyone. It only takes one vindictive manager to ruin an average workers life.
 aSydneyMale
Joined: 5/16/2006
Msg: 13
Questionable Hiring Practices
Posted: 2/4/2010 3:37:31 AM

I know of one woman who was essentially black listed from her occupation in an entire city area because there were only a few companies she could work for, and after having a problem with one manager, said manager went to the owner of the company to make sure she wouldn't work again; word spread and she couldn't get a job in her field with anyone. She wound up moving here, and has since had no troubles with anyone. It only takes one vindictive manager to ruin an average workers life.

This very thing has happened to me and I've had to literally fight for every gig I've gotten. The damage a certain individual did to my career and reputation was enormous and it reverberates still.

It is so easy for malicious people in organisations to f*ck with somebody's life with 'unwritten' hiring policies.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 14
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Posted: 2/4/2010 8:14:15 AM
I ahd one contract where Iw asn't able to work for the competition for two years after leaving the company. Ah well...this is the way of the corporate world!
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 15
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Posted: 2/4/2010 8:21:09 AM
Companies love free and open markets, without regulation...as long as their employees don't have access to them.
 milt_n_bradley
Joined: 10/14/2009
Msg: 16
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Posted: 2/4/2010 8:53:59 AM
If you can PROVE that this is the case (i.e find written documents or other people that have been affected by this) then you MAY have a legal case against BOTH companies.
If not,move on.
There are a number of aerospace companies out there that need contract employees. Try working contract until you can get your foot in the door.

If those two companies are doing that,then they are being run by idiots,IMHO.
Why would a shrewd businessperson affect their bottom-line by refusing to hire potentially high caliber workers?
To even enter an agreement such as that would short-sighted if your competitor chose to subvert the intent by hiring competitors ex-employees as contractors,consultants or temps.

Whatever you do,keep what you decide to yourself.
Don't trust "friends" that still work for either company.
They have too much at stake to be trustworthy.

Good luck.
 luckyhot777s
Joined: 12/26/2008
Msg: 17
Questionable Hiring Practices
Posted: 2/5/2010 7:50:01 AM
Everything has gone to unethical these days....is it legal?

It is if you slip enough money into the right politicians pocket.

There's no equality in hiring...thats a farce, it just means you will hire those of all creeds.......how equal it is done in a manner o,f is subject to interpretation.

Fill a quota....but don't worry if they can't do the job.

Just jack up the price of the goods they will still buy it....

But wait...no one is buying now....why? Hell, look at the price of things these days.

Of course there are many reasons for this..greed being a biggie....if we would put salary caps in big business like we do the NFL...maybe things would be better.

But, that would be communistic in this democratic society we have....no, its not that, we don't vote on our own laws....so that makes us a free market society. Free to have no limits on how much someone can make...no matter who it hurts.
 whothehellknows
Joined: 7/23/2006
Msg: 18
Questionable Hiring Practices
Posted: 2/17/2010 9:58:17 AM
These two companies have basically made a deal to basically eliminate local salary competition, and none of the average Joe floor workers are aware of this. If not illegal, this is obviously highly unethical any way you look at it.

I know that "equal opportunity" typically refers to race, religion, sex, etc...but could it also refer to current employment?


Can you prove it? And I mean hard facts, not rumor. If you can't prove it, then it does not exist. Companies discriminate daily, they just wont say you were denied because of your race, religion, veteran status, gender, etc.

I've worked for companies in the past who would not hire people in the same industry because they did not want someone who was used to doing things some other way, but wanted someone they could train and mold to 'their' way. Don't know your industry, but it made sense in my old company. If a company has their own corporate culture, they don't want someone who is set into another culture.

While most people say they are open to change, it is actually harder to teach an old dog new tricks.
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 19
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Posted: 2/17/2010 12:41:00 PM

I ahd one contract where Iw asn't able to work for the competition for two years after leaving the company. Ah well...this is the way of the corporate world!


Policies or "contracts" such as this are actually easily overturned because they are often contrary to public policy. It is not difficult to overturn them especially if a former employee faces the prospect of collecting unemployment or welfare as an alternative to gainful employment with a competitor.

While I'm not sure how a US court interprets most "at-will" employment issues, a (Canadian) court will not enforce a contract for an act that violates public policy. This is also why many pre-nups get dismantled in court - you cannot leave a person destitute no matter what is agreed upon in a contract.

OP, interesting thread, good luck with your job search......
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