A friend was recently asked to sign a non-compete agreement by his employer. It insists he cannot do similar work for anyone else within a 50 mile radius.
This is short sighted on many levels.
First, my friend doesn't do work that would involve "trade secrets". He is unlikely to lure clients away if he moves to another local firm.
The real reason for the contract? The employer has a retention problem. Staff use his shop as a stepping stone to better opportunities. Hiring has become an expensive part of his business.
Its a problem a non-compete isn't going to solve, either. This retention problem is usually self-inflicted, yet there are no signs of a willingness to try and fix it. the shop will continue to struggle until it does decide to change.