Frequently I get the question of what type of conduct on Linked In violates a non-solicit?Unfortunately there is no clear bright line test and its more like Justice Stewart’s approach to obscenity – I know it when I see it.

I really like Jon Hyman’s discussion of a recent case where a trial judge denied a former employer’s attempt to obtain a temporary injunction against a former employee who updated his Linked In employment information to reflect a new job.  The court said no – the update was not a solicitation.

If a client or customer contacts a former employee about business after a job separation it is hard to characterize that as a solicitation., If a former employee sends a direct email to a former customer requesting a meeting to talk business that usually qualifies as a solicit.  The problem is with conduct that is not so black and white.

An update to your Linked In account that indicated you have a new job doesn’t appear to be a solicitation.  But what about these:

Happy to be at XYZ Corporation, ready to talk to you about your [business issues].

or

Happy to be at XYZ Corporation, call me to discuss our recent [business promotion].

or

I’ve moved to XYZ Corporation and am offering the same services I provided at [former employer] for better prices – call me.

 

Does it matter if the request went to 1 person or 500 (liked Linked IN status update.)?  There are no easy answers but usually there will be more evidence for the court to consider than just a Linked In communication.  As I often say, there is no one size fits all answer to these types of issues.