What are my legal options if an ex-employee has violated a non-compete agreement?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my legal options if an ex-employee has violated a non-compete agreement?

Employee left started his own business but signed a non-compete clause. Now he is working at one of my old accounts now less than 25 miles away. Not only did he do this, but he has also started his own website and defaced my company in the locations where we were playing at for the last 3-4 months. When I was hiring new employees he would tell them he was just doing this to help me out and that he was starting his own business and staying north which is about 50 miles away (still with in the non compete area). He has also used my pictures from events he played at on his facebook page and website, as well as used a similar slogan which I have had for 14 years. I need to know what to do? Should I speak with an employment law attorney? In Dane County, WI.

Asked on September 29, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Definitely speak with an attorney because there are several possible causes of action:

1) A noncompete is generally enforceable. If the agreement  is too broad (in terms of time or geographic location), which is always judged on a case-by-case basis, it may be declared invalid or (more likely) reduced to an enforceable level; but that doesn't change the fact that as a general matter, noncompetes are contracts that can be enforced in a court of  law.

2) If he has "defaced" any of your property, including websites, that is a form of vandalism and you can sue him; or if you mistyped and he "defamed" your company, you could sue him for that, too.

3) If he is using your intellectual property (e.g. a slogan or pictures you or your company owns), that is a violation of your intellectual property rights. You can recover for that.

4) If he took confidential information with him, that would be another thing you can sue.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption