4.2 years. That’s the median number of years that employees stay with an employer as of January 2016 according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down from 4.6 years in January 2014 and January 2012. The median number of years had been trending up since 2000 when the median was 3.5 years. Interesting, but what’s that mean for employers? It means you have to deal with employees coming and going. Let’s focus on the going: when an employee leaves, they can take clients with them unless employers take steps to protect those relationships. This can be done through a contract containing a “covenant” (or promise) not to compete. In Iowa, it is a best practice to condition hiring or receiving a promotion on signing the contract not compete. However, courts in this jurisdiction have found that an employee’s continued employment is sufficient consideration to support the contract.