New job to-do list: (1) send goodbye email; (2) attend goodbye party; (3) update LinkedIn account; and (4) then use said LinkedIn account to send old colleagues new contact information. This sounds like a pretty standard modus operandi for the modern job-hopper, right?  In fact, this last act, that LinkedIn contact, provided the nub of a recent non-solicit case out of Illinois state court.

In Bankers Life v. American Senior Benefits, an appellate court found that an ex-employee’s invitation to connect with old colleagues via LinkedIn did not violate his non-solicitation agreement with his former employer.  The Bankers Life opinion, though not designated for publication by the Illinois appellate court, provides insight into the line between the permissible and the prohibited in the context of solicitation via social media.

Continue Reading Bankers Life and Casualty: Illinois Appellate Court finds Connecting to Old Colleagues via LinkedIn Does not Constitute Unlawful Solicitation

If you’ve been following my corporate divorce series, you are familiar with my view about who owns what at the end of the employment relationship, who pays what to whom, and even how to end the relationship. But I have yet to address the notion of custody and whether my employment-as-marriage metaphor withstands an analogy to the post-employment solicitation of employees.

It is the employee’s relationship with fellow employees – and the employer’s attempt to insert itself into this relationship – that drives this discussion.

Continue Reading Corporate Divorce Series: Is Employee Solicitation A New Kind of Custody Dispute?

Insurance quotes that will make you smileA recent Circuit Court case confirms that the term “non-inducement” means just that.  In American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. Graham, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict against an insurance agent who, the jury found, breached a non-inducement provision based in part on his promise that he could work up some “quotes that will make you smile.”

Continue Reading Post-Employment Covenants: Is an Inducement to Smile An Inducement to Cancel?

Those of you reading our Employee Mobility blog posts are familiar with California’s unique approach to non-compete agreements: they are, except in a few limited circumstances, unenforceable in the Golden State. And that unenforceability extends to post-employment non-solicitation provisions restricting individuals from soliciting business from former customers — a “warm market” to those in the know in the sales community.

But a recent decision highlights an exception to this (infamous) California ban on post-employment solicitation.

Continue Reading California Sunshine Warms the Market: A Twist on Customer Non-Solicitation Provisions in the Golden State

Written by Jen Rubin

Those of you who joined us for our November 13 webinar on “Post-Employment Solicitation of Customers & Employees in the Social Media Age” will be interested in a recent social media-related non-solicitation case from Connecticut that – you guessed it – echoes some of the guidance that I, together with my partners Michael Arnold and Bret Cohen, provided about how to take social media developments into consideration when drafting your post-employment non-solicitation covenants.

Continue Reading Social Media and Non-Solicitation Covenants – Another LinkedIn Cautionary Tale, but this One for Employers

Auto Parts non-solicitation agreementWritten by Daniel Long

The latest casualty to post-employment covenants came at the hands of a Connecticut trial court, which struck down a non-solicitation agreement under New York law as reaching beyond the legitimate business interests that deserve protection.

Continue Reading Another One Bites the Dust – Court Strikes Down Non-solicitation Agreement as Overbroad under New York Law

Post-Employment Restrictive Covenant AgreementsWritten by David Katz

A recent non-compete case out of a New York County court offers employers valuable drafting tips on non-compete and non-solicitation provisions.

Continue Reading Et tu, Brutus? Yet Another New York Court Offers Guidance on the Do’s and Don’ts (Mostly Don’ts) in Post-Employment Restrictive Covenant Agreements

Written by Jennifer Rubin

A federal district court in Washington has confirmed that an employer’s relationship with the cows that its employees serviced is insufficient to establish a legitimate protectable interest to enforce a non-compete.

Yes, the court’s decision in Genex Cooperative, Inc. v. Contreras not only confirmed that bovine inseminators were free to solicit their prior clients (and cows), but the case provides some good reminders about drafting enforceable non-competes.

The case involved three bovine inseminators who, unhappy with their wages and working conditions (which included the failure to adhere to state minimum wage laws), quit their jobs with Genex and, the next day joined its competitor CRV USA — who immediately put them to work inseminating the cows of Genex customers. Continue Reading Keep Your Hands Off the Customers … and the Cows

employees leaving non competesWritten by Jennifer B. Rubin

In a pair of recent decisions, two courts interpreting California’s quirky non-compete law confirm that employee non-recruitment covenants in California are enforceable—but only if those covenants are necessary to prevent employee raiding.

Most states approach non-recruitment covenants through the “reasonableness” lens—if the enforcement of a non-recruitment covenant is necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interest in protecting the stability of its workforce and business, then chances are the covenant will be enforced.

Continue Reading California Raiders … Not the Football Kind

Non-Compete LawWritten by Jessica Catlow

A recent decision from a Georgia federal district court concerning post-employment non-compete agreements reached two notable conclusions of which employers should take note:

  1. Restricting a former employee’s access to customers could result in lost opportunities for the employee which are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify; and
  2. Loss of business due to free and fair competition is not a “harm”; violation of legal rules designed to promote competition however, is a harm.

Continue Reading Who Hurts More? Another Battle in the Non-compete Wars