Employee Poaching & Raiding: Exposure Absent Non-Compete Agreements

The following is a video discussion regarding employee poaching and raiding.  A prior video discussed employee poaching and raiding in situations where the target employees have non-compete agreements.  This newest video focuses on exposure of the hiring company in circumstances where no non-compete agreements are present.

Although exposure is more limited in the absence of non-compete agreements, the lack of such agreements does not mean that the hiring company has no exposure or is immune from liability.

In circumstances where one company hires away numerous employees of a rival company, the rival may be able to pursue a claim based on employee raiding even absent non-compete agreements.  To be clear, there is no cause of action called “raiding.”  Rather, this is simply a manner of describing the particular conduct at issue.  Depending on the specific facts and circumstances, that conduct (i.e. raiding) potentially could give rise to claims for violations of state deceptive and unfair trade practices acts (e.g. FDUTPA) or for misappropriation of trade secrets.

Ultimately, hiring employees away from industry rivals is a delicate business that often creates exposure for the hiring company.  Where the hiring company seeks to hire away numerous employees, that exposure is increased.  Any company considering recruiting away valuable employees from an industry rival should first consult with a qualified attorney regarding (1) potential exposure and (2) strategies for minimizing potential exposure.

Jonathan Pollard is a trial lawyer and litigator based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He focuses his practice on defending non-compete and trade secret claims. Jonathan routinely represents doctors, corporate executives and other high level employees who are switching companies, or, who have started their own ventures. Beyond litigation, Jonathan advises employees, companies and business owners regarding restrictive covenant issues in connection with employment contracts, separation agreements, hiring decisions and the purchase or sale of business interests.  Jonathan has been interviewed about non-compete issues by reporters from INC Magazine, the BBC, the National Federation of Independent Business and The Tampa Bay Times.

In addition to his background in non-compete and trade secrets work, Jonathan has broad experience as a competition lawyer, generally, and has litigated numerous cases under both the Sherman and Lanham Acts. He is licensed in all Florida federal and state courts and routinely represents clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. His office can be reached at 954-332-2380.

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