Non-Solicitation Clause: Working For the Competition

Aug 29, 2011

We often get calls from individuals who are thinking about quitting and immediately starting work with a competitor. The person calls us because his employment contract has a non-solicitation clause and he wants to know if it is enforceable. This is usually only the beginning of the conversation.

Here are four questions that you should get answered before you accept a job with a competitor.

1. Have you agreed to non-competition and/or non-solicitation restrictions for a period of time?  If so, you need to find out whether these restrictive covenants are likely legally enforceable.

2. If a non-solicitation restriction does not exist (or it is likely not enforceable) are you a “fiduciary” which is generally a senior executive or a salesperson who is the face of the company to the customer? If so, you may have a common law duty not to solicit customers for a reasonable period of time.

3. Is there a clause in your employment agreement which sets out how much notice of resignation you must provide? If not, did you know your former employer could sue you for wrongful resignation?

4. Does your new employer want you to immediately solicit the customers of your former employer? If so, have you thought about what will happen if your former employer starts a law suit?

For more information about employment contracts, see our blogs here.

If you are thinking about working for a competitor, and you want to speak with an employment lawyer with experience in this area, contact us at  [email protected] or 1-888-640-1728 (toll free) or 647-633-9894 (within the GTA).

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

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