Is it legal for a salon thatI rented space from steal my customers?

I am a self-employed hair stylist and I was renting a spot at a salon. I have recently left that salon to work at a better one. The salon that I had worked at posted on-line: “Hello everyone! You may have heard we have had a stylist move on, we know that it’s never easy to lose a trusty stylist. We are offering her former clients that still want to use My Salon, $25 hair cuts (if you were grandfathered in for the $20 short cut, we’ll do it for $15) or 20% off your color service if you’d like to try another stylist of your choice. When booking, just mention this ;)”

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you are describing is perfectly illegal. The only exceptions would be:

1) If there was some term in a contract or agreement barring them from doing this.

2) If they are using confidential information, which they only had access to for other purposes and no permission  to use for this reason, to specifically target the customers--for example, if you had to give them a customer or client list for accounting purposes only, then they used it to send messages directly to the customers.

However, in the absence of a contract or agreement to the contrary, simply posting (online or at the salon) an advertisement like the one you describe is perfectly legal--and note: you could do it back to them (e.g. post something online, or take out an ad in a local paper, which says that  you'll give their customers a discount to try tyou).


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