Recent Blog Posts

  • Featured on Employment Law This Week: An employer cannot waive its own non-compete agreement to avoid payment, unless the agreement specifically grants it the right to do so. An employee of a financial services firm in Illinois signed an agreement that required a six-month post-employment non-competition period in exchange for $1 million from his employer. When the worker resigned, the employer sent a notice waiving the agreement and telling the employee that it would not pay him the $1 million. After... More
  • In Reed v. Getco, LLC, the Illinois Court of Appeals was recently faced with an interesting situation: under a contractual non-compete agreement, the employer was obligated to pay the employee $1 million during a six month, post-employment non-competition period.  This was, in effect, a form of paid “garden leave” —  where the employee was to be paid $1 million to sit out for six months – perhaps to finally correct his golf slice or even learn the fine art of... More
  • When: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Where: New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019 Epstein Becker Green’s Annual Workforce Management Briefing will focus on the latest developments in labor and employment law, including: Latest Developments from the NLRB Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce ADA Website Compliance Trade Secrets and Non-Competes Managing and Administering Leave Policies New Overtime Rules Workplace Violence and Active-Shooter Situations Recordings in the Workplace Instilling Corporate Ethics This year, we welcome Marc Freedman and Jim Plunkett from the... More
  • Featured in the top story on Employment Law This Week:  Former employees turned competitors in Pennsylvania are hit with $4.5 million in punitive damages. An insurance brokerage firm sued a group of employees, claiming that they violated their non-solicitation agreements by luring away employees and clients to launch a new office for a competitor. A lower court awarded the firm nearly $2.4 million in compensatory damages and $4.5 million in punitive damages because of the defendants’ outrageous conduct. On appeal, the appellate... More
  • In a question of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court recently addressed what constitutes “bad faith” for purposes of awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party under §5 of the Illinois Trade Secret Act (ITSA). That section provides, in pertinent part, that if “a claim of [trade secret] misappropriation is made in bad faith” or “a motion to terminate an injunction is made or resisted in bad faith,” “the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.” The... More
  • Rarely do we see punitive damages being awarded in cases involving the movement of employees and information between firms. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania last week affirmed a punitive damage award granted by a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in such a matter, albeit which also found tort liability against the new employer and the five former employees. The decision in B.G. Balmer & Co., Inc. v. Frank Crystal & Co. Inc., et al. sets forth a classic example of... More
  • Illinois recently became one of the first states to ban non-compete agreements for low wage workers when it passed the Illinois Freedom to Work Act. The law, which takes effect on January 1, 2017 and applies to agreements signed after that date, bars non-compete agreements for workers who earn the greater of 1) the Federal, State, or local minimum wage or 2) $13.00 an hour.  At present, because the State minimum wage is below $13.00 per hour, $13.00 an hour... More
  • This summer, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has reached agreements with a number of companies curtailing their use of non-competition agreements with respect to non-executive and low-wage employees in New York. The issue appears to have caught the attention of Mr. Schneiderman, who stated recently that “restricting rank-and-file workers from being able to find other jobs is unjust and inappropriate” and “workers should be able to change jobs without fear of being sued.” For example, on August 4, 2016,... More
  • David J. Clark Last month, two New England states enacted laws restricting the use of non-competition provisions in agreements governing an employment, partnership or other professional relationship of a physician. Broadly speaking, the aim of both of these laws is to protect patients’ choice regarding medical care by limiting the ability of employers or partners to contract with physicians such that the physicians’ ability to practice medicine would be restricted at the end of the professional relationship. Effective on July 12, 2016, the... More
  • David J. Clark The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2015-2106 session on July 31, 2016, and lawmakers did not pass new legislation regarding non-compete agreements before doing so. For the last few years, numerous efforts have been made in the Commonwealth to limit the use of non-compete agreements, resulting in several bills introduced in the Statehouse.  The latest bills, introduced in the House in June and the Senate in mid-July, would have set clear boundaries on the use of non-compete agreements by employers,... More