December 24, 2008 9:26 AM PST

Report: RIM accuses Motorola of blocking job offers

BlackBerry maker sues Motorola--which is undergoing massive layoffs--for improperly trying to extend agreement not to solicit each others employees, Bloomberg reports.
(From Reuters)

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That would be like Apple trying to hire ex-Microsoft employess - i.e., not likely.
Would the owner of an ocean liner hire the captain of the Titanic?

Posted by sciontcya (643 comments )
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No. More like an ocean liner hiring some of the the former <i>crew</i> of the titanic.

The captain may have been stupid enough to plow into an iceberg, but the crew mostly did what they were told, and I expect that most of them did their job very well. Similarly, I expect that past staff of Motorola, are knowledgeable and capable. I would at least consider hiring many of them at RIM. Some of them might be iffy, but some of them will be jewels.
Posted by darkonc (3 comments )
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Wow, lay them off and then deny them access to a new job? Way to ring in the holiday cheer in a recession.
Posted by HedgesX (4 comments )
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Reminds me of the oil, railroad and copper trusts...

Everything for the robber barons, nothing for the workers... ...and I never thought I would appreciate the position of the IWW.
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
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I expect the judge to rule in favor of RIM, since he/she wouldn't want to be remembered as the judge who denied layoff victims the chance to get back to work! Shame on Motorola for being so paranoid it won't let its own layoff victims find work at another company in its industry! Being able to support one's family is far, far, far more important than protecting industrial secrets. Does Motorola really think RIM wants to make a Blackberry RAZR?!?
Posted by jmcintire (34 comments )
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This confirms something that Joel Spolsky, writer of the Joel on Software blog has said: tech people should never agree to an employment contract that puts restrictions on future employment UNLESS the company pays their salary during the time they are restricted. There are too many opportunities for really good or even competent people to accept a job that forbids you to work somewhere else. It's been said (and I didn't realize it until I'd heard about it) that some companies, even if they go bankrupt, or quit, someone - say a bankruptcy trustee or whoever has ownership of what's left of the company if it's not defunct - can hold you to the terms of the contract even if the reason you left the company was because of layoff. Thus you can be stuck unable to work in some industries even though the reason you aren't working is because your former employer is out of business. Some states, like California, specifically forbid this type of contract restriction.
Posted by Paul_Robinson2 (1 comment )
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The contract would pass to the 'successor in interest,' theoretically. i am not sure how much this happens any more...
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
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I don't think this will pass legal scrutiny. A laid-off worker should have the right to work for a competitor when he is laid off from his ex-employer unless there is monetary compensation in contract from ex-employer to tie laid off worker for the duration of paid. If pay is breached, the laid off worker should be freed to work for a competitor even if agreed to in contract not to.

Pay is important in contract because it is what holds the contract in place, otherwise, ex-employer has no right even written in contract to tie a laid off worker.

I believe there's a California law with respect to non-compete clause and agreement.
Posted by humanssssss (721 comments )
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IMHO, non-competitor hires should be legally enforceable only if the employee quits or is fired for cause. Any such agreements (including NDA's) should be considered null and void if the employee is laid off for any reason. If you don't want your secrets being spread to your competition? Keep your employees!
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
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