My present employer had given me a employment letter which besides other standard stuff had only the following:-
CONFLICT OF INTEREST /CONFIDENTILITY
You will treat all information received by you during the course of your services with XXXX company and thereafter relating to Technology, Products, Formulation , Process enginnering, and any other business and information through XXXX Intranet whether received from the company and /or XXXX or its affiliates as confidential. You will not divulge such confidential information to anyone in any manner whatsoever except for bonafide use of such information for the performance of duty.You will be required to sign Non-Disclosure & Technology Agreement with the company at the time of joining/reporting.
During your employment with us you will not engage in any other employment or activity including part-time, consultancy etc.
You shall not without the explicit and written permission from the Management , shall appear before media ( both print and electronic).
You undertake that you will sign and abide by the Non-disclosure and technical Agreement and any other agreement in force or may come into force during the course of employment as annexed hereto.
Termination of Service
Notwithstanding any of the clauses fo the Letter of Appointment , The management reserves the right at its sole discretion of terminationg your services with the company after giving you notice of 3 months or payment of 3 months salary in lieu thereof after your services have been confirmed by the company. You will be at liberty to resign from the services after giving 3 month’s notice or payment of 3 months salaray in lieu thereof. The management , at its sole discretion may waive partly or entire notice period in the event of your resigning from the services of the company without paying any additional remuneration/money/monies or payment in lieu of notice period.
I have now resigned from the services and accepted an offer from a company who partly deals in similar areas and thus can be loosely termed competition. However during release the present employer wants me to accept in writing the Non Disclosure & Technology and Non Compete agreement.
Excerpts which clash with my intended action are as follows:-
This has reference to your letter dated --- tendering resignation from the services of the Company.This is to intimate you that your resignation has been accepted by the Management and you shall be relieved of your duties from the close of business hours of -- , subject to and conditional upon your acceptance of the following terms and conditions:
1. Non-compete: You agree that you shall not do or indulge in any of the following, without the prior written consent of the company :
(a) Compete : You shall not for a period of at least 2 years (from the date of termination of your services from our company) shall not directly or indirectly carry on, assist, engage in, be concerned or participate in any business/activity (whether directly or indirectly, as a partner, shareholder, principal, agent, director, affiliate, employee, consultant or in any other capacity or manner whatsoever) which is similar to the business of the company nor engage in any activity that conflicts/competes with the business of our company.
My questions are as follows:-
1) Can my release be conditional to signing of such conditions since none of thsi was provided in my appointment letter?
2) Since I might not get a release and my dues what happens if I accept the letter? Is such a condition after my release tenable in teh court of law and make me liable to be sued?