Tag Archives: employment agreements

Take Five Newsletter – Managing Employee Mobility Today: Are You Succeeding or Scrambling?

The 2019 legal landscape of employee mobility continues to evolve, at times drastically. Courts and legislatures are giving increased scrutiny to employers’ claims to protect the confidentiality of their trade secrets and attempts to enforce their employees’ restrictive covenants, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. It can be hard for employers to prevent their confidential information and client goodwill from following certain departing employees.
With greater knowledge of the latest legal theories, decisions, statutes, and other developments in this area, employers can better protect and defend their interests—even preemptively—including in the ways they draft their employee agreements, design their compensation structures, and consider whether and when to engage in litigation.
This issue of Take 5 aims to provide a few tools for deciphering and navigating this changing employee mobility landscape.

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Fitness Club Seeks Protection of Trade Secrets from Instructor Who Set up Competing Business

As readers of the Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog are aware, companies routinely seek to enforce their employment agreements with departing employees in order to prevent the disclosure and unauthorized use of confidential or proprietary and trade secret information by employees on behalf of a competitor. The sports club and fitness industry is no exception and a recent lawsuit filed by nationwide fitness club, Equinox, demonstrates the importance of maintaining enforceable restrictive covenants in employment agreements.

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Tamsin R. Kaplan Presents to the Woman to Woman Group at New Directions, Inc.

On March 21, Davis Malm shareholder Tamsin R. Kaplan spoke to the Woman to Woman Group at New Directions, Inc. Ms. Kaplan shared with this group of high level executives and professionals the secrets of effectively negotiating employment agreements and severance agreements. In a two-hour presentation, she walked the group through the provisions of two model agreements and discussed dynamics, hidden agendas, tricks, and traps in negotiating each aspect.

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Wisconsin Court Determines Noncompete Clause Does Not Render Arbitration Clause in Employment Agreement Unenforceable

This week, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued its decision in Jeffrey L. Engedal v. Menard, Inc. (Appeal No. 2012AP305). Engedal started working at Menards as a part-time sales associate when he was 18. Over the next 25 years, he worked his way up the corporate ladder. After about 6 years, he became a store manager and 15 years later he became Menards’ hardware merchandise manager, which gave him managerial authority over the hardware departments in all of Menards’ 250 stores. During the later 19 years of his employment, Engedal signed an employment agreement each year with Menards. His 2010 agreement contained an arbitration provision which required him to arbitrate any employment-related claims as well as a non-compete clause which prohibited him from: a) working for any of Menards’ direct competitors in the same or similar position for which he was employed by Menards; or b) working with any of Menards’ direct or indirect competitors within a 100 mile radius of the Menards location where he was last employed. After 25 years of employment with the company, Menards terminated Engedal’s employment in August 2010.

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New York Appellate Court Upholds Contractual Provision Tolling Employee’s Non-Compete Period Due To Employee’s Violation of Non-Compete

An increasingly common type of provision found in employment agreements, allowing for extension of an employee’s post-employment non-compete restrictions by a period of time that the employee violates the restrictions, was upheld in a recent decision by New York’s Appellate Division, First Department.

According to the complaint in Delta Enterprise Corp. v. Cohen, the plaintiff Delta Enterprise Corp. is in the business of manufacturing and selling juvenile furniture and other products for infants, toddlers and children. Many of Delta’s products are sold under licenses and use well-known cartoon and other names and images such as Barbie, Spongebob Squarepants, and Hot Wheels. Defendant Ralph Cohen worked in various positions over seven plus years at Delta, and was the co-head of the Toddler Furniture Division in 2009 and early 2010. The complaint alleges that Mr. Cohen misappropriated confidential information from Delta, and began operating a business, called Resolute Trade, in competition with Delta while he was still employed with Delta and afterwards, all in violation of a Confidentiality Agreement (which also contained several two-year non-competition and non-solicitation clauses). Mr. Cohen’s employment with Delta ended on March 1, 2010.

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