A Texas Staffing Agency Ex-Owner Indicted, Faces 15 Years in Prison for Wage Fixing for Employees

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.

Are Courts Actually Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements During the Pandemic?

While the enforcement of non-compete agreements around the country remains strong, the courts are looking closer at whether an employee will suffer “undue hardship” if his or her non-compete is enforced. Thus, employers should avoid taking unreasonable positions in court and be prepared to explain why enforcing a particular non-competition agreement will not prevent an employee from earning a living.

Texas Employer Ordered to Pay Healthcare Employee’s Attorney’s Fees in a Non-Compete Dispute

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.

When Do Employers Enforce Non-Compete Agreements?

Many companies in Texas have non-competition agreements with their employees, but not all companies enforce them.  Some companies will sue the departing employees for violating non-compete agreements, even thought such agreement may not be valid under Texas laws.  Others, will not bother with enforcement even though they have valid agreements on hand.  The reality is that the validity of a non-compete agreement is only one factor in a company’s decision whether to enforce it.

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