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Total Articles: 10

Dunkin Donuts Latest Chain To Be Plagued By No Poaching Agreements

As a result of a targeted investigation, several franchisors in the United States have spent this year rethinking their so-called “no poaching” agreements which have traditionally been included in their franchise contracts. Dunkin Donuts is the latest target in the crackdown on these agreements.

State Attorneys General Step Up Antitrust Probes of Franchise Industry Hiring Practices

In the midst of a federal effort to ramp up antitrust prosecutions of companies agreeing not to recruit or hire each other’s employees (see previous articles dated November 9, 2016, January 25, 2018, April 25, 2018 and July 17, 2018), special scrutiny – and criticism – has been directed toward the use of no-poach agreements in the franchise industry. State Attorneys General now lead the fight to limit the practice, and early indications suggest that their efforts are already producing results.

FordHarrison's 50-State Restrictive Covenant Desk Reference

Because the laws surrounding post-employment restrictive covenants vary from state to state, FordHarrison attorneys are proud to present a 50-State Desk Reference which provides an overview of state laws addressing the enforceability of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements and associated issues. State laws on this issue are complex, and this manual is intended to highlight some of the significant provisions of each state law. For a copy of FordHarrison’s 50-State Restrictive Covenant Desk Reference, please contact clientservice@fordharrison.com.

Protecting Confidential Information and Trade Secrets When Employees Leave the Company

When employees leave a company—whether it is due to a voluntary or involuntary separation—their former employers may worry about the security of the company’s confidential information and trade secrets. This article answers employers’ frequently asked questions about the intricacies that arise when an employee with valuable information leaves the company.

Poaching Laws: Good For Elephants, Bad For The Uninformed Employer

Lawyers suing each other is always entertaining, but when it’s about employment issues, we take note. Very recently, Selendy & Gay, a newly-formed law firm, filed a lawsuit against Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP for allegedly violating U.S. antitrust law governing employee poaching (one employer taking employees from another employer).

Someone Call A Doctor! This Settlement Agreement Is Bleeding Out

A federal appeals court recently ruled that an overbroad “no-rehire” provision in a settlement agreement with a former employee can be an unlawful restraint of trade under California law. In Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (July 24, 2018), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals voided a settlement agreement between a physician and his former employer because one provision imposed a restraint of trade in violation of California’s strict statute on non-compete covenants, Business & Professions Code Section 16600. The Court found that the broad no-rehire provision constituted a “restraint of substantial character” in two ways.

The DTSA’s Ex Parte Seizure Remedy – Two Years Later

Enacted in May 2016, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) created a new remedy that was not available under any state's Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) – the ex parte civil seizure. This remedy permitted plaintiffs to obtain a seizure order ex parte from a federal court. Upon entry of the order, U.S. marshals would be dispatched, without notice to the defendant, to seize the evidence.

States Look for New Angle to Fight No-Poach Agreements

Attorneys general in ten states and the District of Columbia have recently launched an investigation into the employment practices of eight fast-food franchises. The group sent a joint letter to the companies requesting information on the companies’ use of restrictive covenants including “‘employee non-competition,’ 'no solicitation,' 'no poach,' 'no hire,' or 'no switching' agreements (collectively referred to as ‘No Poach Agreements’).”

Antitrust Director Signals Heightened Focus On Deterring No-Poach Agreements In Healthcare Industry

As we have reported in previous articles, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has repeatedly reaffirmed its intent to criminally prosecute companies that restrict labor market competition through the use of unlawful no-poach and wage-fixing agreements.

A “Crowbar to Get Everything”: Motorola v. Hytera and the Issues with Imaging Computers in Discovery

In an interesting 15-page discovery order, Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole of the Northern District of Illinois rejected Motorola’s attempt to obtain images of the computers of a number of Hytera employees. Motorola has brought claims against Hytera, alleging that the defendant misappropriated Motorola trade secrets to develop a two-way radio. Hytera filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired on the claims. Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan converted the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment and authorized discovery solely on the statute of limitations issue, namely whether Motorola was entitled to an equitable tolling exception based on Hytera fraudulently concealing its activity.