Pharmacy Technician Contract with No Compete Clause
I have to share a new experience I had today at the pharmacy. For those that are new to the site, I am a pharmacy director at a 400 bed hospital. We recently hired a pharmacy technician at our inpatient pharmacy. I received a call from her previous boss today. This boss is calling to let me know that my new pharmacy technician signed a no compete clause that said she would not work for a competing compounding pharmacy.
So far so good right. I inquire as to the pharmacy she worked at . . . it is a vet pharmacy. Not vet as in war veterans, but vet as in animals. My pharmacy takes care of humans, as in a regular hospital for HUMANS. I explain this to the lady, and she said that it does not matter, we compound drugs, so it is part of the contract. I ask her what her intentions are and her expectations of me. She says that I need to fire the pharmacy technician.
This is one of those WTH moments (What The Heck, you can substitute other words if you must, I’ll try to keep it PG). I check with my human resources department, and this is new for them too. We think the whole compete clause is unwarranted for this situation and have decided to do nothing about it. In fact, if there even is this compete clause in place, it is between the pharmacy technician and the previous employer (the vet pharmacy). For the record, compete clauses are for like businesses and more particularly used to tell someone they cannot start their own similar business. My wife is also a pharmacist and works for a long-term care pharmacy. They were asked to sign no compete clauses stating that they would not start their own long-term care pharmacy within two years after employment. this makes sense, a pharmacist builds relationships with a nursing home or many homes and could potentially steal the homes and start their own pharmacy. I do not see how this applies to an animal vet pharmacy in relation to a human hospital pharmacy, it is just nutty.
I have a point here. If you are entering employment with a pharmacy (or anywhere for that matter). Pay attention to these types of agreements. Even invalid ones like this one can cause problems. I would counsel people to stay away from this lady and her pharmacy, something isn’t right. So, make sure you read the stuff you sign when you obtain a job. It could really hinder your chances for future employment at other pharmacies. Fortunately, this is the first time I have heard of this for a pharmacy technician and my guess is that it is not common at all. I still wanted to share the story with you and just in case, provide you with some information in the event you run into a similar situation. Aloha -Rob