Can my wife’s employer ‘veto’ my accepting a job for a competitor?

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Can my wife’s employer ‘veto’ my accepting a job for a competitor?

I was in the interview process at a technology firm, and realized part way
through that they directly compete with my spouse’s employer. I disclosed that
to my perspective employer. Their legal reviewed and found no problems provided
I sign an NDA. My spouse ‘asked her company’s permission’ for me to accept the
offer, we are waiting for their response. I do not believe they have any right
to tell me I cannot accept the position, and if they punished her, I think we
have grounds to sue them, am I correct?

Asked on November 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your wife's employer has no control over your husband. However, it may have some over you. In an "at will" employment relationship, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire, when and why. In fact, a worker can be discharged for any reason or nor reason at all, with or without notice. Accordingly, unless such a temination would violate the terms of an exisiting union agreement/employment contract or constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination, it is legal.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your wife's employer has no control over your husband. However, it may have some over you. In an "at will" employment relationship, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire, when and why. In fact, a worker can be discharged for any reason or nor reason at all, with or without notice. Accordingly, unless such a temination would violate the terms of an exisiting union agreement/employment contract or constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination, it is legal.


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