Noncompete Restrictions

Noncompete Ripple EffectA recent court opinion is a cautionary tale for business owners and entrepreneurs and their attorneys about the importance of protecting attorney-client communications. It is also a reminder of how easily that privilege can be inadvertently waived and the downstream impact it can have on noncompete disputes.

The Decision

The court opinion comes from a

Trade secret competitionEcolab Inc. sued a former marketing manager, Preston Alexander, alleging he used stolen trade secrets to set up a rival business in violation of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and related claims. Ecolab seeks the immediate return of its confidential information and damages for contract breach and trade secret misappropriation.

Why it Matters:

Ecolab’s

McDonald's Noncompete AgreementMcDonald’s recently announced it terminated its chief executive, Steve Easterbrook, for having a consensual relationship with an employee. This termination presents a buffet of employment law and HR issues upon which one could devour. However, I want to focus on the non-compete restriction that Mr. Easterbrook ultimately agreed to upon ending his employment.

The Background

Is “continued employment” sufficient “consideration” to support the enforcement of a non-compete agreement? It is an issue present in many non-compete disputes. But it is also an issue that may be overlooked or (incorrectly) assumed to be a “non-issue.”

If you need a refresher course on what consideration is and why it matters, we’ve got

noncompeteMichigan’s Attorney General (AG) Dana Nessel joined 17 other State Attorneys General to respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request for public comments. These comments concern the FTC’s public hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Ms. Nessel’s response echoes a growing concern across the United States about the use and

Best practice noncompete enforcementA recent non-compete related law in Oregon caught my attention. Specifically, Oregon law (HB 2992), provides that noncompete agreements entered into after January 1, 2020, will only be enforceable against Oregon employees if the employer provides the departing employee with a signed copy of the agreement within 30 days after the employee’s date of termination.

employee mobilityPush-back by State Attorney Generals and state lawmakers against n0n-compete agreements may mean improved wages for employees.

Specifically, the Wall Street Journal, by Harriet Torry, reported on May 18, 2019, that Resistance to Noncompete Agreements Is a Win for Workers. To support this conclusion, the WSJ article cited various state initiatives, including:

  1. Washington passing a

Kent County Michigan Circuit CourtA common mistake employers make in protecting their business interests is poorly drafted non-compete agreements. And frequently that mistake involves drafting inconsistencies. As explained below, inconsistencies provide a foundation for challenging the scope or outright enforceability of a company’s non-compete restriction.

In this regard, we recently defended against Christian Financial Insurance/Christian Insurance Group, Inc.’s motion

The office share company WeWork Cos. reached a settlement with attorneys general of New York and Illinois over requiring most employees to sign over-broad noncompete agreements.

The Wall Street Journal, by Eliot Brown, reported that WeWork previously required most employees, including baristas and receptionists, to sign agreements barring them from working at similar businesses for