We developed this blog to provide timely and important legal updates and helpful insights for employers, employees and attorneys. Be sure to check this blog regularly as a valuable resource to keep you abreast of non-compete, trade secret and other competition-related legal issues in Georgia as well as other significant updates from other states.
We hope you will find this blog useful and informative.
We just closed an M&A transaction in which we represented the selling shareholders.
The company has substantial intellectual property but failed to have its employees sign confidentiality agreements. As expected, the buyer wanted each employee to sign such an agreement. To accomplish this, the selling shareholders had to pay employees as an incentive to sign the confidentiality agreements. Had the company required the employees to sign confidentiality agreements at the start of the employment, Read more [...]
We have previously discussed whether sending an announcement constitutes violation of a non-solicitation covenant and whether Facebook and LinkedIn posts can constitute a breach of restrictive covenant.
This issue was addressed by a Federal District Court in Oklahoma in Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, 924 F. Supp. 2d 1281 (2013). The issue in that case was whether the defendant’s Facebook post on his public, personal account constituted solicitation under the terms of his non-solicitation Read more [...]
Yesterday, several Senators and Representatives introduced a bipartisan, bicameral Bill in Congress to protect trade secrets. The Defend Trade Secrets Act would create a federal private right of action for trade secret theft. As regular readers of this blog know, various versions of this Bill have been introduced in prior sessions of Congress. Given the bipartisan and bicameral nature of this Bill, it appears that this Bill has a much higher likelihood of becoming law than prior versions.
The Read more [...]
Hawaii recently enacted legislation that voids non-compete and non-solicitation of employee covenants for employees in the high tech sector. The new law applies to Hawaii employers engaged in “a trade or business that derives the majority of its gross income from the sale or license of products or services resulting from its software development or information technology development, or both.”
The Act’s stated purpose is to “stimulate Hawaii's economy by prohibiting non-compete agreements Read more [...]
Cost Management Group, Inc. v. Bommer, 327 Ga. App. 164 (2014), involved a dispute between three former business partners, Daniel Bommer, Steven Gareleck, and George Remington Reynolds. Mr. Bommer owned a health telecommunications company, Telesis Management Corporation. In 2006, Telesis merged with Partnertel, Inc. and Telecentrix, LLC, which were telecommunications companies controlled by Mr. Gareleck and Mr. Reynolds. Cost Management Group, Inc. (“CMG”) was created in the merger. Mr. Read more [...]
During this past year, there has been some negative publicity regarding non-competes that are imposed on low wage workers by large employers. See, e.g., http://www.bfvlaw.com/jimmy-johns-non-compete-enforceable-georgia-law/. Perhaps because of that publicity and other incidents involving overuse of non-competes, several Senators have introduced the “Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees Act” (the “MOVE Act”), S. 1504.[1
The Act has two primary components. The Act would Read more [...]
Last October, sandwich chain Jimmy John’s came under fire for requiring that all employees, even low-paid sandwich makers, sign what the Huffington Post described as “oppressive” non-compete agreements. These two-year non-competes prohibited Jimmy John’s employees from working for any business which made 10% or more of its revenue off sandwich sales within three miles of a Jimmy John’s. Although it appears Jimmy John’s has never attempted to enforce one of these agreements, the story Read more [...]
Many financial services firms have at some point been members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), or its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”). As part of FINRA/NASD’s rules, members are required to arbitrate certain claims, including, among others, claims involving former employees. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Puzzo, Civil Action File No. 1:13-cv-3858-TWT, 2014 WL 1817636 (N.D. Ga. May 6, 2014), addresses the question Read more [...]
by Benjamin I. Fink
The United States Security Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought an enforcement action against a company for attempting to chill the whistle-blowing process through overly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements. A technology and engineering firm in Houston, KBR, Inc., agreed to pay $130,000 to resolve charges by the SEC that some of its confidentiality agreements included language warning employees that they could face discipline or be fired if they discussed Read more [...]
Georgia’s old common law was extremely hostile to the enforcement of restrictive covenants, particularly non-competes. However, even under Georgia’s old regime, covenants which prohibit a former employee from recruiting or soliciting employees of his or her former employer are subject to less scrutiny. That said, while these types of covenants are more frequently enforced than non-competes or customer non-solicits, the rules on enforcing employee non-recruitment covenants are not without limit, Read more [...]