As a business owner, it is in your best interest to protect your business against unfair competition. To serve the interests of the business, many employers use a non-compete agreement when hiring an employee. The agreement essentially tells the employee that he or she cannot work for a competitor for a set period after leaving the business.
Unfortunately, there are cases where an employee does not honor the non-compete agreement. He or she may violate the agreement and then what can you do about it? As an employer, there are steps to protect you against violations and potential violations.
Host an Exit Interview
When an employee leaves, it is your responsibility to host an exit interview. During this interview, you need to make sure that the employee does not pose a threat to the company. For instance, you do not want your employee to have access to your client lists or information that could help him or her take business from you. Likewise, you can make sure that your former employee is not planning to work for a competitor. If it comes out that he or she agreed to take a job with a competing business, then you can discuss the non-compete agreement. This is where you can strongly remind the employee what he or she agreed to.
Contact the New Employer
If you find out that your employee has accepted a job with a competitor against the terms of your agreement, then you may want to call the new employer. You can tell him or her about the terms of your agreement with the person. When you do this, the other business knows that the employee may not be available to hire and therefore could be a violation of an agreement. When you do this, you can also find out what the worker will be doing for the company. In some instances, an employee may move to a competitor’s business but is not necessarily performing a task that would risk your company.
If you have an employee violating a non-compete agreement, then you may have to get a lawyer involved. You can have your lawyer send a cease and desist to the person violating the contract. There are legal steps to take when the first two do not work for you. To find out what you can do about an employee or former employee violating your agreement, you should set up a consultation with a business lawyer in Wilkes-Barre, PA, like from Hoegen & Associates, P.C., as soon as possible.