Competing with a previous employer.

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Competing with a previous employer.

I have recently started a new business and I am currently working for a client that I had done work for under a previous employer. I did not sign a non-compete however, the employee manual states that I cannot petition clients of the company while employed. I quoted a project for my previous employer to this client but have since been asked to quote the project through my new company. Can my previous employer pursue legal action against me?

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you did not solicit them while working for your previous competitor, you did not violate the policy under which you were working and are not subject to liability (also so long as you did not use proprietary former employer information for this customer post-employment). Practically, be aware that your former employer may simply not believe that you did not solicit  or petition this customer while employed and may try to take legal action against you, at which point you and (presumably) the customer (since they will likely be drawn into the matter, for evidence or testimony, if nothing else) will need to show that they approached you to quote for them only after your employment had ended.


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