Should I be worried about a cease and desist order?

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Should I be worried about a cease and desist order?

I was recently fired from my job 2 weeks ago without being given warning or a reason. Today I received a cease and desist letter demanding the return of property digital and physical to my previous employer due to starting a competing business. I never signed any contract as an employee of the company I worked for and therefore no confidentiality agreement or non-compete was signed. I just started a business that is in the same industry as my previous employer. Should I even be worried about this cease and desist order? I was employed full-time.

Asked on November 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you have any digitial or physical property belonging to your former employer, you must return it: you are not allowed to keep the property of another, even if you never signed an agreement to return it--that's simply a basic principal of law. Without noncompetition agreement, they can't stop ou from competing, but they *can* stop you from doing so using *anything*--even electronic files or software--you received from them.


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