Hiring a Competitor’s Employees: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls


Peter A. Steinmeyer, Member of the Firm, will join in presenting guidance to counsel on understanding and mitigating risks for clients hiring an employee from a competitor. The panel will explain best practices to decrease litigation exposure and will highlight key defenses to competitor suits.

Hiring an employee from a competitor involves a great deal of risk due to the employee's access to the competitor's trade secrets, customers and other employees. Because of this, a competitor is likely to take aggressive measures to protect its proprietary information and resources from the new employer.

Key employees are often bound by restrictive covenants with the competitor, usually in the form of noncompete, nondisclosure or nonsolicitation agreements. Such restrictions could limit the employee's value to the new company and put the new employer at risk of suit for trade secret misappropriation or breach.

Counsel to employers considering hiring from a competitor can provide guidance on the extent of the risk of the hiring and on steps to minimize the employer's exposure. The more transparent the recruitment and hiring process, the less likely the new employer will be subject to liability.

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What risks are inherent in hiring key employees from a competitor?
  • What special considerations come into play when a new employee is subject to a noncompete, nondisclosure or nonsolicitation agreement with a competitor?
  • What are some best practices for employers to follow when hiring a competitor's employee to protect the company and avoid litigation?
  • What potential claims might the competitor bring against the new employer—and what are some effective defenses to those claims?

For more information, visit StraffordPub.com or call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 10 (mention code: ESZEU1-PZB2AZ).