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Noncompete and Nondisclosure Agreements – Not For All Businesses

Noncompete and Nondisclosure Agreements – Not For All Businesses

A noncompete agreement protects a company from losing valuable information to competitors. A nondisclosure agreement protects the confidentiality of a company’s secret information disclosed during employment or other type of business transaction. The existence of noncompete and nondisclosure agreements does not mean they should be used by all businesses without fully considering the implications to the business and the employees.

Architectural firms typically use nondisclosure agreements with their consultants; however, they generally do not require employees sign noncompete or nondisclosure agreements. Why? Is it the result of years of tradition or simply the lack of business acumen? It may be a little of both.

Traditionally, aspiring architects have been trained through various forms of apprenticeship serving under the tutelage of a master architect. Since the days of the pyramids, the master architect shared his knowledge and experience to prepare an apprentice with the skills necessary to design and construct buildings. Today, a combination of formal education and internship continue this model of training.

Except for their formal university education, architects are trained by other architects. On-the-job business experience gained by an intern or licensed architect during his or her tenure with a firm depends upon the level of sophistication of the firms in which they work. Therefore, it stands to reason that if an employee is exposed to certain businesses practices, when he or she leaves for another firm or to start a new firm that knowledge is likely to be carried with them. It is the exception rather than the rule for most firms to use or even expose employees to noncompete or nondisclosure agreements.

The architectural business is not the only place where noncompete and nondisclosure agreements have seen limited use. Artists, athletes and others are typically trained and coached to satisfy their patrons. Their talents belong to them and not their employers. In the United States, an individual’s right to pursue a particular occupation for which he or she has trained is a fundamental right. A person who has worked for another firm cannot be compelled to erase all of the knowledge and skills acquired through employment. While the skills learned are invaluable to both employer and employee, employers cannot restrict an employee’s right to compete in the area of his greatest worth.

Except for California, most states recognize these agreements, although some appear to have difficulty enforcing them. To be enforceable, each agreement must be reasonable and provide a benefit to both parties. However, by restricting a person’s ability to earn a living, a noncompete agreement can represent trade restraint. For example, in the case of Midland-Ross Corp. v. Yokana, the court upheld this position in saying:

“[A]n employee after leaving the service of an employer may carry on the same business on his own and use for his own benefits the things he has learned while in the earlier employment. If this were not so an apprentice who has worked up through the stages of journeyman and master workman could never become an entrepreneur on his own behalf.”

The decision in this case was rendered on July 31, 1961 in the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. The results of this decision represents one example of case law which serves as a deterrent for architectural or design firms from pursuing noncompete agreements.

A nondisclosure agreement may have some validity for design firms attempting to protect confidential information like a client list. Clients are the life-blood to a professional service firm. This kind of information should only be provided to a limited number of people who should be bound to keep the information confidential. While most architectural firms do not use nondisclosure agreements, this is one area where it may be advisable to use them.

Noncompete and nondisclosure agreements have traditionally been contrary to the practice of architectural firms in the U.S. For the reasons explained above, design firms do not rely on these agreements to protect their firm’s interests nor prevent their employees from using valuable confidential information acquired during the course of their employment. Just because these agreements exist does not mean you should use them. Carefully consider the implications and implement them only if they make sense for your business and your employees.

How to Get Rid Of The Dry Skin Beneath The Eyes Once And For All

Let me ask you a simple question. Do you get that dry skin around the eyes?

It seems to be a more common problem in middle age. In this article, I’m going to show you what you can do to get rid of it once and for all.

The skin around our eyes is the most fragile area of skin on our face. We have fewer layers of skin in this area, and fewer oil glands as well. It is very important to pay special care when performing our daily skin care rituals.

If left unchecked, this dry skin beneath the eyes will eventually turn into wrinkles. Something that none of us want.

First, let’s look at some of the causes, and then we can look at ways to prevent it. As I mentioned, this area of skin is the most fragile because of this, it will be the first area to show the effects of stress, improper nutrition, dehydration, lack of sleep, and smoking (for those that still do).

Simple things that you can do that are all part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Drink adequate amounts of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Get well balance proper nutrition.
  • Take measures to avoid stress.
  • Get proper amount of sleep (6-8 hours/night).
  • Stop smoking.

But even doing all of these things is not going to be enough to prevent first the dry skin, and then the wrinkles, unless we take even further special care with our daily skin care habits.

You need to use a special product just for the area around your eyes, to give it extra protection against the elements. But a caution – don’t choose just any eye gel or cream on the market. Many of them are of poor quality, and are basically wasting your time letting you believe that they are doing the job.

Finding an eye cream that has the best active ingredients and will actually help eliminate the fine lines and wrinkles is key. It’s all about the ingredients put in the product that will allow you to get out of the product the healthy, younger skin you want. Look for active ingredients such as:

Eyeliss™ and Haloxyl™ – Both clinically proven to help remove the bags under the eye, and the puffiness that is often around the eye.

Homeo Age™ – An anti-aging ingredient proven to help reduce wrinkles.

Cynergy TK ™ - Clinically proven to stimulate the regrowth of collagen, elastin and new skin cells

These are just some of the ingredients you should be looking for in an eye cream if you want it to be effective in helping you maintain a more youthful look with fewer lines and wrinkles.

But where do you find a product that contains high quality ingredients such as these? Go to my website, where you can educate yourself about what ingredients you most want and need in any skin care product.

Interview with Sammy Shu, Author of “There’s a Season for All”

Sammy Shu resides in Denver, Colorado with her family. In 1992 she finished her first children’s book, and quickly discovered a love of the genre and has been weaving her fantasies ever since. Sammy writes four hours a day and spends her time dedicated to the whimsies of childhood. She hopes to bring smiles to the faces of children all over the world and her stories are a testament to this. Fairies, dragons, mermaids, centaurs and creatures yet to be discovered are but a few of the fabulous topics of her wonderful books. Sammy has written nine children’s books with more planned for the future.

Juanita: Welcome to Reader Views Sammy, and thanks for the opportunity to talk with you about your wonderful new children’s book “There’s a Season for All.” Sammy, have you always been a writer? Why did you begin writing children’s books?

Sammy: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember being able to hold a pencil. My first stories were related to role-playing. You learn about character development, Finding a reason for things and developing storylines. It’s a great fun way to relax and stretch your imagination muscles. As I grew older I stopped gaming and began really pursuing more fairytale themes in my work. My love of children’s book arrived with my children watching their faces light up as I tell them a story makes a challenging day melt away. That’s good stuff.

Juanita: What is the age range of “There’s a Season for All”? Is this the same for all of your books?

Sammy: This book is for young readers, ages 5 – 9. My next book is for young adults and the ones coming next year are again for the younger reader.

Juanita: Is there anything specific to the 5 – 9 year age group that you keep in mind when writing?

Sammy: I try to remember how amazingly intelligent children are today. I never dumb it down. I use big words and situations that I know they deal with. I want to relate to these children. My writing has a purpose, a goal, and that’s an important factor to my work. I want to create an emotional response, make them think. So far the response has been great.

Juanita: What happens in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Four fairies sisters inherit the running of Tweenland. They have many responsibilities and soon discover that things are far more difficult than they thought. Running a kingdom is demanding. Soon they are fighting and causing problems for the people. I think this is something that happens with siblings, they fight, they work it out and in the end they remain loving and considerate. This is what happens in the book. But I don’t want to give away how that happens. The ending is pretty cool.

Juanita: Would you tell us about Tweenland, and its metaphoric message?

Sammy: I wanted a land that represented real life situations while remaining true to a child’s fabulous imagination. This is the place in be Tween.

Juanita: What inspired this highly creative storyline?

Sammy: I have daughters and of course they love all things fairy tale. Seasons are very important to me. I grew up in Florida where there really weren’t many changes, that part was inspired by Colorado and all of its beauty and variety. Sometimes I forget that I came from a place that didn’t have that. It’s so beautiful here and I draw a lot of my inspiration from that. all of the rest comes from the children. They’re so open and so fascinated by it all. I remember that and I miss the innocence. I’m inspired to keep that alive.

Juanita: The four fairy sisters in this story represent the four seasons, who struggle to assert their power. This really is a fascinating way to connect children with the environment, while teaching personal responsibility and working with others. Would you elaborate on these characters – the four fairy sisters, and the magic they hold in this story?

Sammy: The great thing about this story for me is each character represents a child in my life so they are all very special to me. They have such power to control their own environment and you can see how competent and successful they are by the end of the story. Girls need to know that they are powerful and capable I love that my girls feel that and I hope this book can put those ideas out there for other girls.

Juanita: What is the take home message in “There’s a Season for All”?

Sammy: Every person has something to offer in the big picture. We’re all so different and if we could just learn to work together we could achieve anything.

Juanita: Sammy, have you always been interested in fairy tales and mystical themes?

Sammy: Yes, as a child I wrote about magical bunnies and a land where you could sip chocolate milk from streams. I also played some role-playing games. I love fantastic themes. It’s so wonderful to be able to write about the places in my dreams and know that I can share that with the world.

Juanita: Even in this modern-day, why do you think fairies, dragons, mermaids, and elfin creatures provide such timeless fascination for children?

Sammy: It’s the belief that magic is real. I think as children are growing they are frustrated by their lack of control on their lives. In fairy tales they can use their imagination to create situations that they enjoy and have some control over.

Juanita: I know that imagination is a significant theme in your books, as well as in your personal and professional life. Would you comment on your desire to spark children’s imagination as well as inspiring your own?

Sammy: Life can be so demanding. We all need a place to go and recharge our batteries. The imagination is abundant and you can make it anything you want. For me it’s writing and my hope for the children is that they enjoy my stories, come away feeling refreshed and ready to take on all of life’s challenges.

Juanita: Sammy, would you tell us about Carl Cone, the illustrator for “There’s a Season for All,” as well as the collaboration process?

Sammy: Carl is my best friend. We’ve worked together for years and I’m sure we will continue to do so. He’s amazing. All of my work comes to life because of his astounding talent. I give him a story and he usually shows me sketches. We talk about possibilities and then he’s off and running. He’s always right on with his great ideas. I’m lucky to have such talent surrounding me. He has a site for people in need of an artist in different mediums. It is http://www.myspace.com/carltheartbug.

Juanita: Are you working on any other books/projects at this time?

Sammy:“The Legend of the Vampire Fairies” is the next book coming out. It’s a darker fairy tale for teens and young adults. The art is primarily my photography with some sketches and detail work by Carl. We’re very excited about it. I’ve also written several books that are about the Land of Imagination (where the fairy queen goes to rest in the first book) in that book the main character is a centaur boy learning the responsibilities of adulthood. Both project hold a special place in my heart and I cant wait to share them.
They will all be coming out as soon as the art is done.

Juanita: How can readers find out about you and your books?

Sammy: You can buy my books at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover, Amazon.com any retail store should have them or be able to get them. My web site is [http://www.Sammyshu.com] .

I also have several other sites that are linked to that one. If you go to Youtube.com you can put in Vampire Fairies and watch a book trailer of my upcoming book.

Juanita: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today Sammy. We encourage readers to look for “There’s a Season for All” at local and online bookstores, as well as stay posted to your website for future releases. Before we depart, do you have any final thoughts for your readers?

Sammy: I’d like to mention that a portion of the proceeds of my book sales go to a foundation I started called AFFECT (artists function for enhancing children’s tomorrow) The purpose of the foundation is to give children in need the opportunities that the rest of them have, Good books, entertainment, Art. We go to children’s homes and hospitals we read to them, do short skits, teach them fun safe choreographed combat techniques. Drawing classes, and anything else our members are willing to provide. We are always looking for people who are willing to donate their talents for the lost children of this world; hopefully through my writing I can make a difference. Thank you for this opportunity to get my message to more people.

To find out more about our cause go to makeanaffect.com and keep reading!