Reprinted with permission. By, Michael D. Karpeles, partner, Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, Ltd. and HR.com John is running a successful online computer supply business. He hires Ed, teaches him the ropes, and promotes him to general manager. Ed eventually quits, and within six months, has created his own online computer supply business nearby using many of the sales techniques he learned from John. John, of course, is furious, but he has little recourse against Ed unless Ed had previously signed a non-compete agreement with John.