What are my rights if I was fired after 7 years of employment with large mortgage field service company for starting an allegedly competing company?

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What are my rights if I was fired after 7 years of employment with large mortgage field service company for starting an allegedly competing company?

I manage property preservation companies to complete work for our banks. The banks had foreclosures that needed the house fixed and cleaned in order for them to be marketable again. The reason I was fired is because I tried to start a consulting firm on my end and wanted to consult property preservation companies. Helping them conduct business better, quality, create more successful bids, how to cut costs and increase their revenue. I feel in no way I am competing. If I pursue this consulting firm, is this a breach of contract? Can they sue me?

Asked on January 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have a written employment contracting limiting the reasons you could be terminated, you were an employee at will and could be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever--including starting your own consulting firm.
You can't be sued over competing, however, unless you are violating a written non-competition clause or agreement--or unless you are using your former employer's proprietary information (e.g. customer lists) for your own benefit.


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