Unnecessary Non Compete Not Enforced
Non competes are only enforceable in Massachusetts if they are necessary to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer. Below is an example of a non compete case we defended because the restrictive covenants did not protect a legitimate interest.
Case Study G: Background
Client G was an entry level sales person for a regional telecom provider. This was his first job out of college, and he had no prior experience in the industry. After working for the company for a short time, the company changed his compensation plan and cut his commissions.
Because the job had become financially unworkable for him, he applied for other jobs. When he accepted an offer at a nationally known company, his employer sent a cease and desist letter and threatened to sue.
Client G had limited customer relationships in his territory. He did not have access to trade secrets or confidential information. The new employer had a much larger footprint, and already had relationships with many of the customers Client G worked with.
Nonetheless, the former employer threatened to sue both Client G and his new employer. His new employer did not want to get involved in a lawsuit. They required Client G to get a release from the non compete before he could start working.
Case Study G: Strategy and Outcome
Client G contacted us after he received the cease and desist letter. We reviewed his documents and interviewed him. Based on this review, we concluded that enforcement of his non compete would not protect any legitimate business interests of his former employer.
We also concluded that the change in compensation was retroactive, and may have been a violation of the Massachusetts Wage and Hour laws.
We drafted a response to the cease and desist letter and then worked on negotiating a resolution with the employer. After we threatened suit under the wage and hour laws, and demonstrated the problems with enforcing the non compete clause, we reached a resolution. Client G was released from the non compete with minimal restrictions and allowed to continue pursuing his career.
Case Study G: Takeaways
There are a number of lessons to be learned from this example that may help you if you are facing a dispute over a non compete agreement
Can We Help You?
We have years of experience representing people in non compete lawsuits in Massachusetts state and federal courts, as well as responding to cease and desist letters, and we would be happy to help. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.
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