What can I do about a couple of former employee’s starting up a business that is in direct competition to mine?

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What can I do about a couple of former employee’s starting up a business that is in direct competition to mine?

I have a service business. I hired 2 people to work for me and paid them cash; 1 was with me 6 months and the other 4 months. Together they demanded $15 an hour but I declined, so they quit. A month later I saw an ad in the newspaper offering the same service of for which I trained them. Can they do this?

Asked on December 24, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They absolutely can do this: anyone can start any business they like, unless they signed a contract--a non-competition agreement--in which they agreed to not compete. But if you did not have them sign non-competes, then they may compete with you.


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