Ronald M. Green, co-founder of Epstein Becker Green and manager of the Firm’s nationwide Labor and Employment practice, was quoted in The New York Law Journal in an article about an expected increase in litigation over non-competition agreements amid the economic downturn.
The article, titled, “As Economy Falters, More Employers Sue To Enforce Non-competition Agreements,” noted a more widespread willingness among employers to sue over such agreements in New York.
Such disputes have become “especially prevalent in financial services, because those who have the strongest existing client connections are worth much more in this dwindling market,” said Mr. Green. “When the economy is in a downturn, firms are competing for a smaller and smaller pool of customers. Your assets come in in the morning and leave at night.”
Mr. Green also said that some employers are opting for using “notice provisions,” which require employees to provide as much as 12 months’ notice before going to work for a competitor. He expects that both notice provisions and non-compete agreements will increase.
“In fact, any industry you’re in, service, accounting, law, merchant banking, retail, you’re going to see many more efforts to get people to sign these agreements,” he said. “Your employees with the best customer-client relationships become more and more valuable in a bear market.”