In a landmark ruling of first impression, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that an employer’s non-competition covenant, which included the employee’s pledge not to challenge the covenant for inadequate consideration, is unenforceable unless it is accompanied by a change in job status or some other significant benefit. Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc., Case No. 3-40-2015 (Nov. 18, … Continue Reading
Three very recent decisions reflect the irreconcilable division of judicial authority regarding the adequacy of at-will employment as the sole consideration for an otherwise valid non-compete. Compare (a) Standard Register Co. v. Keala, No. 14-00291 (D. Haw., June 8, 2015) (adequate under Hawaii law) (“majority rule”), with (b) Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc., Nos. 13-11297 and 14-10365 … Continue Reading
The recent decision of the High Court in Re-use Collections Limited v. Sendall & May Glass Recycling Ltd. serves as a useful reminder for employers: restrictive covenants introduced during the employment relationship (rather than at the point of hiring) require specific consideration if they are to be enforceable. Under UK law, changes to employment terms require consideration if they are … Continue Reading
Courts will decline to enforce contractual restrictive covenants in agreements that unreasonably restrain trade or lack adequate consideration.
Innovation Ventures (IV), developer of an energy drink, entered into contracts with a bottler and with a production consultant. Both contracts contained non-compete and confidentiality clauses. Shortly after the bottler’s and consultant’s business relationships with IV ended, IV … Continue Reading
In a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, Creech v. Brown (June 19, 2014), the court affirmed that in Kentucky, noncompetition agreements must be supported by adequate consideration in order to be enforceable. The circumstance addressed by the court involved an employee who was presented with a noncompetition and confidentiality agreement after working for the employer for … Continue Reading
A few months ago, we reported on a federal court decision in the Southern District of Alabama declining to enforce a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement against a former employee who executed the agreement before he began his employment. Last week, a panel of the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision in an unpublished opinion.
As we reported following … Continue Reading
The usual measure of monetary damages for violation of a covenant not to compete, even where the violator was paid a discreet sum for the covenant, is the amount that puts the injured party in the same position it would have been in if the contract had been performed. Briggs v. GLA Water Management, 2014 Ohio 1551 (Ohio App., … Continue Reading
In a ruling announced a few days ago, Chief Judge Ruben Castillo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois adjudicated the validity of a non-compete clause in an employment agreement where the employee had worked for only 15 months and then resigned and began competing. Notwithstanding the latest word from the Illinois Appellate Court — “Illinois … Continue Reading
Once a stalwart of adequate consideration in exchange for a restrictive covenant, new employment, remains in flux after the Fifield v. Premier case was not taken up by the Illinois Supreme Court recently.
A recent Louisiana non-compete case involving two appellate decisions addresses three significant issues in non-compete litigation: 1) whether a former employee’s referral of customers to a new employer violated the employee’s non-solicitation of customer covenant; 2) the consequences of violating the covenant and court injunction; and 3) the appropriate standard of proof for contempt proceedings.
Summary of decision. Five years … Continue Reading
Under the majority approach, recognized in many states continued employment is sufficient consideration for a valid non-compete agreement. However, a minority of jurisdictions, will not enforce a non-compete agreement offered for signature after … Continue Reading
In a recent opinion, Creech, Inc. v. Brown, the Kentucky Court of Appeals both affirmed the ability of Kentucky courts to modify overly broad non-competition agreements in the employment context and laid out a six-part framework that trial courts may follow when analyzing the reasonableness and enforceability of non-competition agreements.
The court also … Continue Reading
A business entity changing its form, but not its operations, will want to protect non-competition and confidentiality agreements with its employees from expiring as a result of the transaction. Because those covenants usually are viewed as non-assignable personal service contracts, they may be unenforceable by the surviving entity, absent each employee’s express consent, if the covenants are seen as pertaining solely … Continue Reading
A recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court makes it easier for employers to enforce restrictive covenants in Texas. Employers often seek to obtain these types of contracts with key employees to prevent them from going to work for competitors or to leave to start competing businesses. The enforceability of such contracts is typically governed by state law, resulting in … Continue Reading