In reaction to the recent proliferation of non-compete agreements, courts and legislatures are increasingly trying to find ways to limit their use. The latest attempt is at the federal congressional level. This week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced the “Freedom to Compete Act” aimed at prohibiting non-compete agreements for lower wage workers. The Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to ban non-competes for most non-exempt workers.
Tag: Katie Connolly
Your employee quits without notice or explanation. You discover that she moved to a competitor in violation of her non-compete agreement, and what’s worse, days before her resignation, she downloaded your trade secrets onto a thumb drive. You file suit and request an immediate injunction from the court. The last thing you expect is a counter-suit and motion to dismiss claiming you have interfered with the employee’s free speech rights. But that aggressive defense to restrictive covenant and trade secret litigation is becoming far more prevalent. Employers should be prepared for this defense when considering how to enforce their rights against former employees.
The Scenario: Your company has a great applicant for a job opening, Jane, but you learn during the interview process that Jane signed a non-compete agreement with her current employer. You can quickly spot some reasons why the non-compete is unenforceable. You acknowledge there is some risk in hiring Jane, though, including that her current employer may sue Jane for breaching the contract and your company for interfering with her contract—a tortious interference claim. So, now what? Setting aside Jane and her own legal risks, what specific steps should you take to set up your best defense to a claim that your company interfered with Jane’s contract?