At the beginning of the September, the State of Texas followed the majority of other states becoming the 48th to adopt a version of the uniform trade secrets act. So the question becomes, why does this matter to my business or in the context of the employee/employer relationship?

Though the instances where true “trade

          

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but a trial always gets in the way of blog posts.  So after the dust has settled on the trial I have a few thoughts  on what business owners and employers should always consider when considering the pros/cons of

                                          

Earlier in the week we discussed policies and procedures that should be in place to deal with end of year employee departures. Companies should also consider a number of other HR related issues as the year draws to a close. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Evaluation of all employment policies, including the employee handbook;
  2. A

                                           
 
Employers  should be asking potential employees and even independent contractors whether they previously signed a non-compete/non-solicit agreement.  Of course, some employees may have forgotten or are unaware they signed one – if possible ask to see their previous employment agreements to screen for any restrictive covenants.
 
What should a potential employer be looking for: 
 
  • a non-compete agreement;
  • a non-solicitation agreement;
  • a non-disclosure agreement; and
  • an anti-raid provision.
 
The first is self explanatory.  A non-solicit could have the effect of a non-compete by keeping a new hire from contacting previous customers/clients.   A non-disclosure could have a non-compete effect depending on the circumstances (i.e. a non-disclosure that prevents an employee from disclosing previous client/customer information).  The anti-raid prevents an employee from attempting to hire folks from their previous place of employment.
 
Why should the employer be worried?  When a company sues over a non-compete they almost always sue the former employee and their new employer.  By doing so a plaintiff can shut down the employee and also the employer who may or may not be benefiting from the former employee’s non-compete breach.
 
Employers should be pro-active in the hiring process in determining whether a non-compete is in place.  If one is in play, the employer needs to assess its risk, hopefully with the help of a lawyer.


Continue Reading Employers – Ask potential candidates if they signed a non-compete!

Seventy percent of participating U.S. employers indicated they had rejected a job applicant based on their on line profile in a recent Microsoft survey.  U.S. employers were well ahead of the UK, Germany, and France:

                         

The study found that employers’ scrutiny focused on concerns about the applicant’s lifestyle, inappropriate comments by the candidate, and unsuitable pictures and video:


Continue Reading Surprise? Potential employers are considering online profiles.

                    

Whenever I talk with an employee or employer about a noncompete or nonsolicitation agreement the number 1 question is "Can you provide me with the agreement you (or the employee) signed?"  Usually, the employer has a nice neat employment file that contains all agreements.  Employees on the other hand are usually a different story. 

In

                                          

In Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp Advisors, Inc. v. Fielding, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the Houston Court of Appeals holding that an accountant’s non-compete agreement was enforceable. The Court stated in part:

We hold that if the nature of the employment for which the employee is hired will reasonably require the