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Non-Compete News: – Georgia Court Interprets Non-Compete Statute's "Sale-of-a-Business" Provision

Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act (O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50 et seq.) (“RCA”) governs Georgia non-compete agreements entered into after May 2011. Very few courts have interpreted the RCA since its inception.[1] In Bearoff v. Craton, decided a few months ago, the Georgia Court of Appeals authored its very first decision in the “sale of business” context (i.e., a seller of a business agreeing to a non-compete for some period after the sale). Specifically, the Bearoff court confirmed that, in such circumstances, a non-compete may be enforced for the longer of five years or the time period during which the buyer pays the seller for the business.

Georgia Supreme Court May Weigh in on Standing in Data Breach Litigation

The Georgia Supreme Court may weigh in on the hot issue plaguing data breach class action litigation across the nation, must a data breach victim suffer actual financial loss to recover damages, or is the threat of future harm enough? On August 20, the Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments in a class action suit stemming from a data breach in September 2017 at Athens Orthopedic, exposing 200,000 of its current and former patients’ personal information including names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth and telephone numbers. Upon discovery of the breach, Athens Orthopedic advised patients to place fraud alerts on their credit accounts and seek other advice.

Non-Compete News: Georgia Court of Appeals Clarifies Definition of "Key Employee" Under the Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act

The Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act (O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50 et seq.) governs non-compete agreements in Georgia entered into after May 2011 and sets forth that such agreements can be used only with respect to certain employees. One context in which non-compete agreements are permitted is where an employee “customarily and regularly” solicits customers or makes sales. Non-compete agreements are also permissible where an employee “perform[s] the duties of a key employee or of a professional.”

Non-Compete News: In Georgia, Whether It Is a Non-Compete or a Non-Solicit Makes All the Difference

Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act (the “RCA”) became effective in May 2011, but it took nearly six years before a court published a decision interpreting the statute in the context of a non-competition provision (See our previous legal alert regarding the first published decision). Therefore, companies deciding whether to use or enforce a non-compete agreement have little guidance regarding how courts will interpret such agreements under the law.

Non-Compete News – Georgia Court Interprets Who Can Be Subject to a Non-Compete

Executive Summary: Effective May 2011, Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act (RCA) represented a significant change to pre-existing Georgia law. Since then, however, very few courts have interpreted the RCA, leaving employers and practitioners alike with questions over how, and under what circumstances, restrictive covenants agreements may be used to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests.[1] One of the few decisions interpreting the statute, CSM Bakery Solutions, LLC v. Debus (N.D. Ga. 2017) underscores the reality that some employees in Georgia simply are immune from post-employment non-compete provisions – even where the covenants are reasonably tailored in duration, geographic proximity, and scope of precluded activity.

Hands-Free Georgia Act Takes Effect July 1, 2018

Executive Summary: Employees are increasingly exposed to traffic and longer commute times, and some employees drive during the course and scope of their employment. Hands-free technology makes it possible to safely conduct business from a vehicle. As such, Georgia employers should be aware of recent changes to state law regarding the use of hands-free technology by drivers. Vehicle use policies may need to be updated to ensure compliance with state law.

Georgia Bans Hand-Held Devices While Driving

Georgia has become one of 16 states in the country that bans the use of hand-held devices while driving. Governor Nathan Deal signed “Hands-Free Georgia Act” (House Bill 673) into law on May 2, 2018. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2018.

Georgia Targets Elder Abuse with Tough New Long-Term Care Background Check Law

A new Georgia law will require nursing home and other long-term care workers to submit to extensive background checks. The “Georgia Long-Term Care Background Check Program” will take effect on October 1, 2019. Georgia joins the majority of other states mandating enhanced satisfactory background check for care workers.

Georgia Supreme Court Clarifies Insurance Company is Not ‘Financial Institution’ in Garnishment Law

An insurance company named as a garnishee in a garnishment action is not a “financial institution” under Georgia’s garnishment statute when the garnishment is seeking earnings owed to its current or former employees.

Non-Compete News: Georgia Court of Appeals Confirms Lack of Geographic or Material Contact Limitation Does Not Invalidate Non-Solicitation of Employees Covenant

Executive Summary: Georgia’s recent Restrictive Covenant Act, enacted in 2011, does not directly address non-solicitation of employees a/k/a non-recruitment covenants, thereby leaving such provisions subject to the principles developed by courts through “common law” (i.e. case law). Because Georgia common law is not well developed on the requirements of employee non-solicitation covenants, employers often second guess the enforceability of such covenants. Fortunately, the Georgia Court of Appeals recently provided some clarification on these covenants in CMGRP, Inc. v. Gallant, No. A17A1168 (Ga. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2017), where it made clear that non-solicitation of employees covenants do not require geographic or material contact limitations to be enforceable.
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