Employers don’t spend enough time considering their non-competes. That’s an overly broad statement, but it is usually the rule not the exception. The reason that happens kind of makes sense. Most employers haven’t been down the road of enforcing a non-compete. The provision at issue may be a one-off that’s included in one employment agreement
Over the past few months we’ve been tracking the interplay between various Texas cities (San Antonio – Dallas – Austin) and the Texas legislature. The aforementioned city councils adopted in similar form and fashion mandatory leave policies for employees within city limits. The Dallas version provides for the following:
- In effect August 1,
Following a number of other cities in Texas including Austin and San Antonio, the Dallas City Council approved an ordinance requiring paid sick leave for Dallas employees. The highlights of the ordinance:
- In effect August 1, 2019 for employers with 15 or more employees and August 1, 2021 for smaller businesses;
- All for-profit and
As the New Year begins a couple of things to consider:
- Is the company employee manual up to date – any changes necessary? – The beginning of the year is always a good time to review those policies and procedures and see how they worked in 2018. Often the year will show some deficiencies
I remember when I was a younger lawyer the difficulty I had with clients settling lawsuits that factually and legally had little merit. I remember the partner I worked for telling me that was the cost of doing business. While I knew he was right that comment still bothers me to this day. But the…
For some time Texas has been a hot market for lawyers. Big firms from other parts of the country who want to shop here not surprisingly will hire lawyers from other big firms that are already here. Many of the partners in these firms have notice provisions in their partnership agreements that require them to provide notice to their firm of their departure. A recent Texas Lawyer article highlighted the issue:
Tomorrow, I have the privilege of speaking to the Executive Search Owners Association. Over the years I have had the privilege of representing placement professionals in a number of circumstances. Some tips:
- Make sure your engagement agreements/contracts make sense and are enforceable;
- Remember that non-competes and non-solicitation agreements in Texas can be enforceable;
Whenever I draft or review an employment agreement (or for that matter any contract) one of the first things I look for is a venue provision. Usually there is one, but if not you fall back on the laws of the state the party would like to bring suit in to see if venue works. There is nothing that will take the steam out of a lawsuit then the contention it was filed in the wrong place. Drafting tip – make sure there is a venue provision.
So, assuming there is a venue provision it’s likely there is a choice of law provision as well. Often times the venue provision will require an employee to agree to venue in the state/city where the employer is located. The idea from the employer’s standpoint is it would rather enforce its agreements in the place where it is located and in most cases under the same laws. The provision will look something like this:
For whatever reason an employee leaves, the exit interview (if that’s what the company calls it) or instance when the HR person in charge collects the employees building badge and any company property is an excellent time to remind the employee of their post-employment covenants. We talked about agreements at the end of employment during…
Strictly speaking under Texas law it is hard to make a non-compete stick when it is first introduced at the end of employment. Assume a situation where an employee signed a confidentiality agreement and non-disclosure agreement but didn’t sign a non-compete, non-solicit (customers), or anti-raid (employees). Is the employer out of luck? Maybe not.
For purposes of this discussion, assume that what I am about to suggest is not legally enforceable under the Texas non-compete statute. Put another way, the employer is never going to sue the agreement and the employee is under no requirement to sign the agreement. They can simply walk – a non-compete based on past consideration doesn’t work.