General Dance Discussion > LOL@franchise studios' employee contracts...

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by RookieDancer, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. RookieDancer

    RookieDancer New Member

    Just found out that at the Arthur Murray I goto, the no-frat rule stays in effect up to two years after employment is terminated. A violation of this will result in a fine of $2000.

    Wow. How is such a thing even enforceable? How can somebody, you no longer have ties to, decide who you can and cannot socialize with?

    No wonder I always get this weird "cult-like" and "secretive" vibe from Arthur Murray people whenever I goto their events. LOL just LOL.
    MaggieMoves likes this.
  2. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I don't know how enforceable it is, but they don't put that clause in to prevent an instructor from "socializing" with students after they leave -- it's to prevent them from stealing students after they leave.
    3wishes and Mr 4 styles like this.
  3. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    As per some close friends of mine that are AM instructors? Most of what you hear is true. Most of them are too intimidated to continue teaching after in the same metropolitan area. I can only think of one guy who successfully told a former owner to flip off and he didn't bother enforcing anything. Here in the NYC area though we have a relatively saturated market, and even being 10 miles away can pull from a different customer pool.

    Depends on the judge if it's legally enforceable or not. I can see it maybe being more successful in a relatively small town as opposed to a large city like NY, LA, Chicago, etc.

    @dbk It's often the case after an instructor leaves that their best students follow them regardless of which studio they're working for. It's very time consuming to build up a new partnership (even at pro-am) at the silver level and above.

    I can't think of many industries where it's the norm outside of dance that this kind of stuff is enforceable or supposedly enforceable. In most industries it is the exception, not the rule.
  4. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Non-competes are not legal in California AFAIK,
  5. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    In most states, strong public policy dictates that you cannot stop someone from pursuing their livelihood. The primary intention of non-compete agreements are in the sale of businesses... not employment. I'm actually glad to hear that it is flat out illegal in some states.
  6. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DF RookieDancer. There are several threads of discussion along the lines of your original post, using the search bar can help you find them.
    And As with another post, California does not recognize a do not compete contract, at all, other states may be different.
    Cal likes this.
  7. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Generally enforceability isn't necessarily the issue for a non-compete clause, giving the franchise owner the means to bury departing instructors in litigation if they try to retain clients when they leave is. Put yourself in the shoes of an instructor leaving a job with an ok but not amazing salary (someone in another thread said the glass door entry for FA was ~$35k before bonuese), without health / dental coverage, and starting to build a client base as a self-employed instructor who's now responsible for his/her own advertising and scheduling (you likely won't have a ton of money saved up unless you're the most frugal type of person). Then picture how you'd react to even the threat of a lawsuit - you likely wouldn't have much capital to spare to pay a lawyer to help with your case, so even if you're in the right, the studio owner could easily keep you from violating that clause with the mere threat of litigation. About the best saving grace you could hope for is one of your students being an attorney who's willing to help you pro bono.

    Fwiw, it appears non-competes are enforceable in Texas provided they offer consideration (incl. specialized training) for the non-compete and they place reasonable limitations on competing work (reasonable in both type and geography of work restrained).
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    How do you fine someone who is not your employee?
  9. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    In dentistry, if you work for a corporate office or another dentist and then leave and take clients with you it can be in violation of a noncompete and they can sue you.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  10. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    It is kind of difficult to prove that you stole clients however. I mean if you're taking half the business I'd understand the case, but it does still seem silly to me.

    The previous company I worked for I owned a significant share in. When I left they wanted me out of their competitors for three years. The severance package though accommodated for that.
  11. architeuthis

    architeuthis Member

    Does the student get a choice in this? If, say, my instructor at a franchise studio was leaving and I wanted to move with them rather than start over with a new franchise instructor, would that mean that I would be causing my instructor to violate the noncompete clause? It seems crazy to think that students could be indirectly "forced" to stay at the franchise
  12. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    If you leave willfully, there's nothing they can do to prevent you from shopping elsewhere regardless of who it is.

    Most often when franchise instructors leave, I find they hit road blocks from their franchise only certifications. At least until they get a DVIDA equivalency here in the states.
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I'm sure part of why they frown on fraternization is because if you don't fraternize, you won't have your teacher's contact info and be able to track them down when they leave to follow them to their new teaching gig.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't tell them that I was following the old instructor, I would simply say that I don't find the new one to be a satisfactory remedy and I want a refund on the remaining balance...they may not like it but they are likely required to comply...helps if letter is sent on legal letterhead
  15. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    I took a seminar about non-compete agreements a few months ago. Yes, enforceability varies from state to state. In my particular state, non-competes will be enforced if certain elements are met: they need to be part of an employment contract (or a sale-of-business agreement), they can't be greater than what is needed to protect a trade secret or legitimate business interest of the employer so that typically means they need to be reasonably limited in time and geographic scope, they can't impose undue hardship on the employee, they can't injure the public, and they have to be supported by adequate consideration. Of course, the grey areas are the definitions/precedents for reasonable time/scope, undue hardship, and adequate consideration – these areas require case-by-case analysis.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    lol, nice legalese
  17. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    I take good notes.
    While there were several lawyers at the seminar, they are open for non-lawyers too. Just have to pay the fee.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    gotcha....I was just going through it and noting all of the terms, like consideration, which I would struggle with understanding, if I was not surrounded by attorneys :)
    stash likes this.
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Not really.
    They can transfer their certifications to any examining organization, with the exception of the USISTD.
  20. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Is it really that simple though? Is a exam still required?

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