How do we stop an ex-employee from using company info to steal clients?

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How do we stop an ex-employee from using company info to steal clients?

A long time employee 25 years purchased a carpet cleaning business while employed for our carpet cleaning business. He was required to sign a non-solicitation agreement to continue working for us, which he refused. citing it ‘

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you don't have a signed non-competition, non-solicitation, and/or non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement (the latter to protect business information, such as the names of your clients or your pricing to them), you most likely cannot do anything. Free competition is the law of this country unless restricted by contract: when there is no contractual limitation, people, including former employees, can compete with you, solicit your clients, etc. And information not protected as confidential can generally be used by those given access to it. Legal action  is not likely to work in this case; you may need to simply out-compete him.


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