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No Poach Agreements Continue To Cause Ire

As many employers know, there is no federal law that prohibits a company from entering into a contract with one of its employees to prevent that employee from quitting, going to a new employer and bring co-workers with him/her. In legal terms, this is usually referred to as a “no-solicitation” provision. State laws dictate the enforceability of these types of provisions generally. A similar type of provision is a “no poach” provision – but this one is between companies and it prohibits them from stealing each other’s employees. These are not so easy to enforce and might actually land a company in some very hot water.

Court Rules That Company’s Facebook Snooping Does Not Prevent Trade Secrets Injunction

Can a former employer’s alleged misconduct defeat a request for injunctive relief against former employees when those departing workers take confidential information and clients to another employer? A federal appeals court recently addressed this question in Scherer Design Group, LLC v. Ahead Engineering LLC and decided not to apply the “unclean hands” doctrine against the employer in a trade secrets case, clearing the way for the injunction. While not a suggested approach that you should take without consulting with your attorney, the case does present an interesting situation that all employers should familiarize themselves with.

Company’s Facebook Snooping Didn’t Prevent Critical Trade Secrets Injunction

Can a former employer’s alleged misconduct defeat a request for injunctive relief against former employees when those departing workers take confidential information and clients to another employer? A federal appeals court recently addressed this question in Scherer Design Group, LLC v. Ahead Engineering LLC and decided not to apply the “unclean hands” doctrine against the employer in a trade secrets case, clearing the way for the injunction. While not a suggested approach that you should take without consulting with your attorney, the case does present an interesting situation that all employers should familiarize themselves with.

U.S. Senator Reignites Federal Non-Compete Reform Efforts With Bill Aimed At Protecting Low-Wage Employees

Last year, Democrats in the United States Senate and House of Representatives introduced bills — S.2782 and H.R.5631 — banning non-compete agreements in the vast majority of workplaces across the country.

Unfair Competition: What Happened in 2018, and What's in Store for 2019

From sweeping legislation to unexpected case law, and everything in between, 2018 brought a lot of changes to unfair competition law. Massachusetts’ successful passage of legislation addressing noncompetition agreements after years of negotiation and California’s further restriction of restrictive covenants are just highlights from a year of significant changes. Read on for a summary of some of the biggest legislative and case law events in unfair competition law of 2018 and a peek into the crystal ball for what is coming in 2019.

Non-Compete News: Sixth Circuit Gives Attorneys' Fees to Employer

Executive Summary: This month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s award of attorneys’ fees to an employer after it had been granted a preliminary injunction against its former employees. See Kelly Servs. v. De Steno, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 875 (6th Cir. Jan. 10, 2019). The employer never received a final determination regarding the enforceability of the non-compete provisions in employment agreements. Nevertheless, because the underlying agreements contained provisions requiring the employees to cover Kelly’s attorneys’ fees in enforcing the agreements, a final determination was not necessary to award Kelly its fees. This decision demonstrates the importance of including attorneys’ fees provisions in employment agreements.

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.