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Proposed Amendment Opposed
Tuesday, 26 October 2010

October 26--  One of the constitutional amendments on Tuesday's ballot has to do with employment agreements between employers and employees.

It reads, "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?"

Norcross attorney Howard Johnston authored an article for "The Georgia Forum" in Atlanta opposing the amendment.

"This amendment is trying to do an end run around a whole body of law that is developed around the Georgia Constitution by amending the Constitution.  In 1990, the special interests tried to enact a statute that made these covenants not to compete after a person had terminated employment enforceable and the Supreme Court struck it down so now they are trying to get a constitutional amendment.  It is grossly unfair to employees.  The law as it is is working and does not need to be changed," Johnson believes.

Johnson says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the special interests supporting such changes to non-compete agreements.  "If an employee goes in and the boss says you have to sign this contract right here and things don't go well on the job and a year or two later you find yourself leaving the job, the letter comes up and says you can't work in the Vidalia area or counties near here doing the only thing you know how to do," he says.

His advice to voters is to vote no on Amendment 1 on the ballot.  "If you are an employed or ever hope to be employed by any kind of private enterprise, this is a bad amendment," he says.

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