Non-Compete Agreements

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Nobody likes non-competes except business owners/leaders trying to use them to protect their business.  It is the proverbial political softball that some legislatures attempt to address every session.  In May the Obama Administration took on non-competes and released a report entitled  “Non-Compete Agreement: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses”.  The report

There is a good article from the Houston Chronicle this week outlining a non-compete dispute between two former compensation consultants and their former employer.  The facts are pretty standard fare for this type of dispute:

  • professionals have some type of non-compete agreement with former employer;
  • former employer finds out professionals are leaving in violation

Texas Non-Compete

Last week I had the privilege of speaking and attending the Texas Non-Compete Camp put on by UT LAW CLE and Mike Maslanka.  There were a number of great lawyers there addressing topics ranging from whether to sue the new employer of a former employee to ethical considerations of representing both the employee and employer.  

On Thursday I will be speaking at the 2015 Non-Compete Camp put on by The University of Texas School of Law.  There will be a lot of great lawyers speaking on various post-employment covenant issues – https://utcle.org/conferences/NC15.

Texas Non-Compete

It’s always interesting to take a look at other states to see how they deal with non-compete legislation.  We’ve discussed Masschusetts and most recently doctor non-competes in New Mexico.  Hawaii is the latest state to enact new noncompete legislation targeting workers in a “technology business”.  This is how the Hawaii legislature defined “technology business”:

Hawaii

 

For the last few months I’ve been involved in a number of temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction cases in state and federal courts in a number of different industries/professions. Some general reminders/lessons from non-compete/non-solicit fights:

  1. Signed Agreements – Make sure the non-compete agreements at issue are signed.  Some companies have their employees execute agreements on line

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When news of the Jimmy John’s non-compete came out last October my concern was the impact it would have on businesses with legitimate non-competes.  There is always a populist theme that is anti-non-compete.  Employees should be able to come and go as they please and a non-compete agreement prevents that.  “Bad” non-competes undermine “good”

A few months ago we considered the Jimmy Johns non-compete that received national attention and was even the subject of a class-action lawsuit.  The short of it was the non-compete applied to the nice sandwich maker that filled your order and most folks didn’t think a non-compete for those folks made sense.

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