What can I do and if an employee stole a business plan, proprietary information and contacts?

My business partner and I created a business plan that we were preparing to scale. That included proprietary information and content that was protected by law. Our employees also signed a non-compete, however then one took that information and created their own company. What legal actions are available?

Asked on February 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

1) If they violated a non-competition agreement, you can sue them for "breach of contract" for doing so, seeking either or both of a court order barring them by competing with you (on pain of contempt of court, since that's the consequence for violating a court order) and/or for monetary comnpensation.
2) If you took reasonable steps to keep the information proprietary or confidential--e.g. only gave it to employees who needed it, for doing their jobs--then it was business property and they committed theft. You could sue them for theft, seeking again a court order and/or compensation.
Based on what you write, it would be worth it for you to consult with an attorney about taking legal action.

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