In Texas, a 5 to 10 year non-compete agreement related to a sale of business is the norm. n addition to the non-compete restrictions in the sale documents, those sellers who stay employed by the buyer after the sale often sign a second non-compete agreement as part of their employment package, which does not kick in until after their employment with the buyer terminates.
A recent decision from the Thirteenth Court of Appeals in Texas serves as a cautionary tale for Texas employers seeking to enforce their non-compete agreements. In this case, a company that provided surgical assistants to surgical facilities and physicians sued a former employee for breaching his 2-year non-compete covenant, which prohibited him from “in any way” offering his services to any “client institutions or client surgeons” of his former employer.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently clarified that non-employees do not have standing to sue under Title VII, even if they are an object of intentional retaliation.
Many companies have been taking advantage of the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic to poach employee talent that they otherwise would not have been able to recruit or afford. Companies that have experienced layoffs, furloughs, salary reductions or bonus freezes, are particularly vulnerable to raiding attempts by their competitors.
On September 25, 2020, I will be presenting a lunch-and-learn webinar on emerging Covid-19 legal challenges for staffing agencies and possible solutions, organized by the National Association of Personnel Services. The presentation will focus on the new challenges that that staffing and personnel placement firms face due to COVID-19, from FMLA leave and ADA issues, to OSHA and CDC compliance issues, to the indemnification and force majeure issues in contracts with clients.
Given the difficulty of protecting intellectual property related to cannabis and cannabis-based products with patents, copyrights and trademarks, any company in the cannabis industry should formulate a trade secrets protection plan from the very outset of the business, in order to ensure that the proprietary information at the center of its business does not lose its confidential status down the road.