On April 9, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill (HB) 330, Virginia’s first law banning covenants not to compete against “low-wage employees.”
Articles Discussing Restrictive Covenants In Virginia.
Is anyone focusing on anything other than the COVID-19 Pandemic? Apparently, the Virginia legislature and governor are undeterred, enacting a series of new laws. Among them, Virginia has banned non-compete agreements for lower wage earners, becoming the most recent state to do so. A summary of the key provisions is
Misappropriation of trade secrets claims can sometimes be difficult to sustain. While evidence of the taking of a trade secret may be available, evidence of its subsequent use may not.
Non-compete restrictions are creations of state law, which can sometimes vary on key aspects of contract formation and enforceability. One of those aspects is the extent to which states will reform or “blue pencil” the language of the restrictions. In many states a court will rewrite the terms of the restrictions to make them reasonable, thus fulfilling the parties’ contractual intent. Courts in other states refuse to tamper with a restriction’s language, requiring the non-competes to rise or fall on their literal terms.
In Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. v. GP Consulting, LLC, Nos. 11906, 11907 (Sept. 14, 2012), the Supreme Court of Virginia, for the first time, defined how to calculate damages for the breach of a noncompete provision where the breach resulted in the loss of an expected contract
In a recent Virginia trade secrets case, the appellate court’s ruling illustrates that in any case for damages, the manner and measure of valuation is paramount. In 21st Century Systems, Inc. v. Perot Systems Government Services, Inc., a Virginia jury awarded Perot Systems Government Services, Inc. (Perot) $3,743,843 in damages for lost goodwill from actions by 21st Century Systems, Inc. (21CSI) and former Perot employees that Perot characterized as tortious interference with contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misuse of confidential information. The goodwill award was trebled to $11,228,529.
Finding a non-compete provision in an employment agreement overbroad on its face and therefore unenforceable, the Supreme Court of Virginia has affirmed dismissal of an employerâ€™s breach of contract claim against a former employee. Home Paramount Pest Control Cos., Inc. v. Shaffer, 2011 Va. LEXIS 222 (Va. Nov. 4, 2011). While acknowledging that it was invalidating a provision that was identical to one it had enforced for the same employer more than 20 years earlier, the Court said the Virginia law on non-competes has evolved since then and overruled conflicting portions of its 1989 opinion.
In Home Paramount Pest Control Cos. v. Shaffer, No. 101837, 2011 Va. LEXIS 222 (Nov. 4, 2011), the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that a covenant not to compete was overbroad and unenforceable, even though it was identical to a covenant the court had upheld 22 years earlier in Paramount Termite Control Co. v. Rector, 238 Va. 171 (1989). Acknowledging this, the court expressly overruled its holding in Paramount Termite.