Wage-fixing, i.e., agreeing with competitors that everyone will pay the same wage or will not pay more than a pre-agreed amount, is illegal. Just as companies can’t get together and fix prices for goods, they are also prohibited from fixing prices for services. A recent indictment of a Texas ex-owner of a staffing agency alleging that he engaged in price fixing shows that DOJ and FBI take wage-fixing arrangement seriously. The indicted ex-owner now faces up to 15 years in prison and over a million dollars in fines.
Under both, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and the various state Uniform Trade Secrets Acts, an owner of trade secrets must take “reasonable measures” or reasonable steps to protect the trade secrets from being disclosed.
To prevail on its claim to collect on a promissory note, a lender must prove (1) the existence of the promissory note in question, (2) that the alleged recipient of the funds signed the note, (3) that the lender is the owner or holder of the note, and (4) that a certain balance is due and owing on the note.
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.
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.