Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Litigation Team
“Customer raids” or “employee raids” – the wrongful solicitation of your customers and employees – can be disastrous for your company. Your most valuable assets are your hard-won customers and the human capital invested in your employees. In such cases, you may need immediate legal help to seek relief before your company is irreparably harmed. Because of the genuine possibility of irreparable harm to you and your company, Judges will carefully consider entering a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction when either a prior employee has breached an employment agreement with a specific non-solicitation provision, or a competitor is engaged in wrongful competition, sometimes called unfair competition. Certain jurisdictions have limited such relief. Our team will evaluate with you whether QRF is a solution in your case where another is wrongfully soliciting your customers or employees.
Soliciting Customers or Employees Away from Your Business:
Relief Against Your Employee: If your employee who is subject to a valid non-competition or non-solicitation agreement leaves and begins competing with his or her former employer—either by creating a new business or by joining an existing competitor—the employee can be enjoined from wrongfully competing and held liable for breach of contract in jurisdictions where non-compete agreements are permitted. In other jurisdictions where non-compete agreements are not allowed, non-solicitation provisions may be the enforcement mechanisms. An injunction prohibiting continued violations of the non-competition or non-solicitation agreement should protect the former employer going forward. Economic losses are often hard to predict or obtain. In this instance, a QRF litigation team can be helpful in reducing losses and preventing future harm.
Relief Against Your Competitor: if your competitor intentionally causes a breach of contract by hiring your employee, despite knowing that the employee will be directly competing with you in violation of a valid non-competition or non-solicitation agreement, they may be enjoined and a restraining order may be imposed against them. In such case, your competitor will be forced to either fire or reassign the employee. Interference with the employment agreement you have in place with your employee is unjustifiable when it is done for the purpose of injuring you as the former employer or benefiting the competitor. A QRF litigation team can assist you in seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction or in taking other actions such as contacting the competitor directly to reduce losses and prevent future harm.
Breach of Employment Agreement Non-Solicitation / NDA / Confidentiality: Business owners are typically concerned about protecting their brand, name, territory, affiliations, employees, customer lists, technology, amongst a host of other items that may give them a competitive advantage in their industry. Employment agreements that contain non-solicitation of employees and/or customers are the primary way that you can protect against wrongful competition by those you have given access to your highly confidential information such as customer lists, proprietary business methods, trade secrets, and employee relationships. To protect against theft of this valuable information, companies/employers should have covenants in their employment agreements that expressly prohibit partners and employees from taking their confidential information. Non-Solicitation Agreements are restricted in certain jurisdictions, notably California – but other legal relief may still be available.
Intentional Interference with a Prospective Economic Advantage: if an employee is under contract, a competitor who intentionally makes efforts to steal employees may be liable for unfair competition.
Unfair Competition: if the purpose of a competitor hiring your employees is to obtain access to trade secrets or confidential information held by the employee, that would constitute unfair business practices and additional causes of action would apply. Employees are not allowed to violate their fiduciary duties to their employer and solicit other employees before leaving. An employee cannot, while working for one employer, solicit fellow employees to leave that company and work for a rival.
Cybercrimes: Theft of confidential, proprietary information via electronic means. Cybercrime is a growing problem. Scarcely a week goes by without reports of massive online misconduct. The primary federal legislative response so far has been to impose computer abuse liability on network attackers. Every state has enacted a similar statute. The data reflect that, in recent years, there has been a nationwide cybercrime litigation explosion. Most of these civil claims arise from employment and commercial disputes misusing an employers’ electronic data, not sophisticated computer intrusions. QRF may be your primary remedy if your electronic data could be copied and moved to the cloud or made public.