A confusing, ambiguous, or imprecise non-compete agreement will yield poor results in court. In other words: garbage in, garbage out.
While a non-solicitation clause that prohibits a sales employee from soliciting all company customers may sometimes be justified, most of the time it is much more reasonable to limit the non-solicitation restraint only to the customers and prospective customers with whom the sales employee directly interacted rather than every customer in the company’s database.
In Texas, an employer can be held liable for its employees’ negligence if, at the time of the accident, the worker was an employee (not an independent contractor) and was acting in the course and scope of his employment.
Employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employer and may not: (1) appropriate company trade secrets; (2) solicit away the employer’s customers while working for the employer; (3) solicit the departure of other employees while still working for the employer; (4) carry away confidential information.
A court order prohibiting defendant from using trade secrets must be broad enough to cover all possible circumstances while narrow enough to include only the illegal activities. Where that line lies depends on the circumstances of each particular case.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prohibits companies from claiming tax deduction for confidential settlements paid for sexual harassment and abuse and the related lawyer’s fees.
Any Texas companies that have employees who primarily work and reside in California, should update their non-compete agreements with such employees to meet the requirements of the California Labor Code Section 925.
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.
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.