HireCentrix - ViewPoint
California Courts recently upheld a well known law here in our wonderful State - they upheld that Non Compete agreements are Not Legal and cannot be defended in a Californian court of law.. Well of course that is, unless it was due to a Sale of a business, between partners, or between members with a Limited Liability co-operation.
Wonder why any company was that silly to even try to invoke that type of agreement here in California and then try fight it.. This is and should be a well known business factor in California.. What an expensive oversight.. you see this very interesting State, it is very fond of allowing Fair and Reasonable Competition, and they believe that Non Competes will narrow and limit unfair competition by former employers.
BUT, here is a little known fact and a Huge Oversight that many do not recognize. California Courts Do uphold Confidential and Non Disclosure Agreements, as well as the agreements that Protect the companies’ Trade secrets, and agreements of non Solicitation of Employees..
Many people are under the impression that
Non Competes fall under the same umbrella of Non Disclosures, and obviously
that is Not the Case.
In our industry, there are ardent arguments about the Non Compete, or unfair competition, or what a company can and cannot own.. many argue the fairness of these agreements and some say that many of these agreements limit competition as well as create competition
Personally I do appreciate California’s stance on the non Compete, - They are unfair to the employee and of course to future employers, and competitors. It does limit fair trade, and viable competition, which can also create monopoly, and unfair advantages.
As a business owner I am also a firm
believer in the Non Disclosures, and the proprietary information agreements
which protects Trade Secret Information and what I especially like is also
protection in the act of how one Gains that Trade Secret, which is also know as
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets. That is Acquiring a Trade Secret or
even Using that Trade Secret by someone who knows that they gained that
information through ways that were “improper”.
See this is all falls under Unfair Competition. Federally and through State Law.
What is a Trade Secret?
According to NOLO In most states, a trade secret may
consist of any formula, pattern, physical device, idea, process or compilation
of information that both:
· provides the owner of the information with a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and
· is treated in a way that can reasonably be expected to prevent the public or competitors from learning about it, absent improper acquisition or theft.
In California, the tort of unfair
"any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading." California Business and Professions Code § 17200.
In our industry, yes a trade secret can also include a company directory, or even names of employees, and if one has acquired that directory through directly utilizing improper means or knows that the information they have, was acquired through improper means.
Also be careful in Aiding or abetting
another in Breaking their contract. You see, it is indeed Not illegal to
offer a person a job in any way, but.. if you are speaking to a person in a
company who has signed a non disclosure agreement, and convince them to break
that agreement by revealing secretive information about that company (including
names) well you are also involved as an accessory in breach of contract and on
top of that, if you lied to gain that info, then there is the
“Misappropriation of the Trade Secret.
Quoted from LectLaw Tortious/Wrongful
Interference In Business Relationship
"It is not unlawful or improper, standing alone, to hire away someone elses employee so long as the person doing so wants to use the employee's services in advancing his own business rather than with the intent of destroying the other employer's business. This is true regardless of how much the loss of the employee may inconvenience his former employer.
"The mere fact that someone's activity
has injured another in his business does not mean that the
latter may recover because, in a free enterprise system, a businessman has no legal complaint concerning a loss resulting from lawful competition, including competition for the services of skilled employees. If the means of competition are fair, the advantage gained should remain where success has put it...
" ... but "It also becomes unlawful when the inducement is made through the use of untruthful means, or for the purpose of having the employees commit wrongs such as disclosing the former/current employer's trade secrets. " (which could include the names of employees)
In closing, simply put – companies are in
business to make money, and one way to do that is to protect their more
valuable assets. Their employees are an important asset, because of the
What the employee knows, and the Who the employee knows. What and Who,
can create major harm for the employer.
Thus Employers will do anything to protect those trade secrets. As a recruiter, I really would take the time to learn effective ways to recruit and protect myself from a prospective lawsuit.. yeah you may win, but that victory will be hollow when you get the legal bill..
My thoughts, there are excellent recruiting training/trainers in this industry.. Take time to learn how to recruit without a ruse call. Heck, do it for the industry, even if you don’t want to do it for yourself.. that nasty stuff does run down hill, and really affects the image of your peers
ABOUT KAREN MATTONEN, CAC, CSP
Karen Mattonen started a career in Human Resources when she served as a Recruiter for Snelling Corporation. Leveraging her tenure with Snelling, Karen founded Advanced Career Solutions in 1997 focusing on the HVAC and Mechanical Construction industry. Her reputation for excellence is echoed in the satisfaction of clients and candidates she has serviced nationwide. Furthermore, Karen is esteemed for sharing her expertise in Recruitment Education, Ethics and promoting self-regulation for the Recruiting industry.
She has a new and future-oriented vision of what recruiting can and should become: a profession we can be proud of for its ethical standing, professional conduct and ability to build great organizations. Her doing-well-by-doing-right philosophy is shaking up the status quo in an industry that needs to be shaken. She does this with conviction, leadership, and a distinctive voice that cries out for change.
Outside of the HR community, Karen Mattonen has been cited by Microsoft as a resource in how to use Microsoft Outlook as an ATS. She has also served as the Marketing and Public Relations Director for the 3rd largest city in Utah.
Her passionate and tireless advocacy has led her to create HireCentrix - The Pulse of H.R, Regulation, Retention, Recruiting and Risk Management www.hirecentrix.com. Hirecentrix is a company dedicated to providing training to the HR, recruiting and staffing industries, which includes a special focus on the ethical and legal dimensions through offering a full service resource for individuals to share and communicate, obtain current and accurate information, acquire and provide education and learning within the quickly expanding, diverse and rapidly changing Recruiting and Human Resource climate.
Karen has achieved accreditation as a California Accredited Consultant (CAC) through California Staffing Professionals. She has also gained her Certified Staffing Professional Certificate (CSP) through American Staffing Professionals. (www.americanstaffing.net)
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