Texas courts have issued several interesting opinions in 2017 regarding Texas non-compete law, explaining and defining when the Texas Covenants not to Compete Act applies and clarifying procedural mechanisms and remedies in non-compete disputes.
The Fifth Circuit recently considered whether the federal copyright and patent laws preempt (trump) Texas common law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation.
The unclean hands defense “allows a court to decline to grant equitable relief, such as an injunction, to a party whose conduct in connection with the same matter or transaction has been unconscientious, unjust, or marked by a want of good faith, or one who has violated the principles of equity and righteous dealing.”
In Texas, covenants limiting employees’ professional mobility are unlawful restraints on trade unless they fall within the exception created by the Covenants not to Compete Act.
Generally, training repayment provisions in employment agreements are enforceable in Texas. Employers should make sure that such clauses are written in a clear and understandable manner and are not hidden within employment contracts. When determining the parameters of the reimbursement policies, companies should make sure that they comply with the Texas Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act of 1983, which prohibits the restraint on trade.
Enforcing non-compete agreements is as much of a business decision as it is a legal one. Having a non-compete agreement that is legally enforceable, allows you to decide whether it makes business sense to enforce it against a particular employee. Without a legally-enforceable non-compete agreement, however, the business reasons may not even matter.
This year, California, Illinois and Nevada amended their non-compete statutes to help protect employees’ right to change employers. Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington considered various amendments, but were unsuccessful in signing them into law, which means they will probably try again in 2018.
Texas employers may not discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee who “leaves the employee’s place of employment to participate in a general public evacuation ordered under an emergency evacuation order.” Tex. Labor Code § 22.002. An emergency evacuation order means an official statement…
While employees have the right to express their opinions under the First Amendment, their employers have the right to fire them for expressing such opinions. In other words, the freedom of speech, when it comes to employment matters, is a myth!
While helping hundreds of companies to enforce their non-compete agreements and advising many employees on how to get out of them, I noticed that most companies make the same mistakes when it comes to drafting and enforcing their non-compete agreements. Here are the top ten.