In Texas, the reason for termination of employment – whether it was for cause, without cause, a layoff, a reduction in force, or any other reason – does not affect the enforceability of a non-compete agreement. Therefore, employers should not assume that non-competition agreements are no longer enforceable and must carefully approach enforcement of such agreements against departing employees as well as the hiring of new employees who may be still bound by non-competition agreements with their former employers.
Sometimes, a business can be excused from performing under a contract due to a force majeure or an “Act of God” provision in that agreement. However, given that COVID 19 is a new phenomenon, there is no clear law on (1) whether COVID 19 qualifies as an “Act of God” or a force majeure event and (2) many contracts will need to be interpreted to determine whether their particular force majeure clauses encompass COVID 19. Needless to say, the parties may disagreed about the interpretation.
The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division answers Fair Labor Standards Act questions related to COVID-19, including whether and how employers must compensate employees for reduced hours work, telework, and additional expenses associated with working from home.
EEOC states that in light of COVID-19, employers can check employees’ temperature.
Over the next several days, I will provide a break down of the new employment laws and guidances issued by various government agencies that Texas employers should know about when dealing with COVID 19. If you have any follow up questions, please reach out to me at Leiza.Dolghih@lewisbrisbois.com.
On February 7, 2020, the American Medical Association submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning non-compete agreements in the workplace and urged