JL-b8 writes: "Dear Slashdot, I've just encountered a (from what I know) strange occurrence. A group of friends who work for a small web design firm are being forced to sign a non-compete agreement with a clause that prohibits the employee from working with a competing company for 12 months after the date of their leaving. Is this a common thing? And what has happened to people who have signed these things? The owners claim it's a standardly practiced clause but I don't see how the hell a web developer/designer is supposed to find work in a city for a year without moving to a completely different city. I'd like more input as to how this weighs in to the rest of the companies out there."