Peter A. Steinmeyer, David J. Clark, and Brian E. Spang, Members of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, co-authored an article in the Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, titled “INSIGHT: Protecting Key Employees, Trade Secrets in the Post-Covid-19 Job Market.”

Following is an excerpt:

As employers emerge from Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, they have a unique opportunity to invest in new talent and improve the quality of their team. At the same time, they need to protect their own MVPs and trade secrets.

Pre-Covid 19, unemployment was at record lows and the market for talent was overheated in many industries and locales. Now, painfully large numbers of top people from excellent companies are unemployed or underutilized, or facing pay cuts or slim to non-existent year-end bonuses.

This is an opportunity for smaller employers or start-ups to hire “big company” talent, and for larger employers to cherry pick talent from weaker competitors.

It is a Great Time to Hire

Moreover, as a practical matter, in this new era, restrictive covenants may be less enforceable, or at least less restrictive. For one thing, competitors may be litigation-averse. Many companies are preserving cash and thus less likely to spend significant legal fees on discretionary litigation, such as litigation to enforce restrictive covenants of former employees.

Furthermore, with unemployment at historic highs, a judge presented with an application to restrain or enjoin an individual from taking a new job may be more likely to view the restrictions with strong disfavor—much more so than in boom times.

Additionally, after months of court closures and limitations, judicial priorities will be elsewhere, including criminal matters and a backlog of civil jury trials.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.