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Non-Compete Law

Non-Compete Law

Tis’ the Season to quit your job and start a new Virginia Business

In the ten years I have been helping Virginia employees transition from one job to another, I have noticed a trend.  End of year bonus in hand, employees quit their jobs around Christmas and open new companies in the new year. Not a bad idea, when thoughtfully done.  Are you looking at the above timeline?…[Read More]

Ex-employee sued for accessing trade secrets

We frequently represent employees who, after leaving their employment, are sued for violating their non-compete contract and for illegally using their ex-employer’s “trade secrets.”  Just what are “trade secrets?”  Typically they are customer lists, marketing information, unpatented inventions, software, formulas and other business information that provides a company with a business edge.  Information is more likely to be…[Read More]

Legal obligations of employees, not spelled out in their employment contracts

Is anyone surprised that VW is getting heat from owners for their fraudulent sensors? No. As a VW Diesel owner, I can tell you I didn’t sign an agreement with VW that states “VW promises the sensors found in the vehicle are correct and have not been altered,” but yet, there are state and federal…[Read More]

Does your employer think you are a risk or threat when you leave? Umm, yes.

In many ways, employment litigation is like family law (now, keep reading – I have a point!).  When things end badly, people don’t trust each-other. They assume one party intends to cause harm and that no one is telling the whole truth.  When a good employee leaves to work for a competitor, or to start…[Read More]

Why Virginia Courts will not re-draft your contract to be reasonable

Virginia is a wonderful place. It is for lovers. It has mountains and oceans and delightful seasons. We have both urban and rural, crowded and vast spaces. It is a Commonwealth, and when I read a contract that states Virginia is a State (and doesn’t reference the fact it is a Commonwealth) I presume the…[Read More]

Amazon does the right thing with non-competes

Kudo’s to Amazon (but they had to be shamed into it).  Business Insider reports that Amazon, which employs over 88,000 workers world-wide, plans to remove “non-compete” clauses from its employment contracts for US workers paid by the hour.  By signing the non-compete agreement, workers pledged not to:   …engage in or support the development, manufacture, marketing, or…[Read More]

Noncompete agreements for governmental contractors – what those big legal words actually mean!

Over the last nine years, we have represented hundreds (yes, I think I can say that fairly) of individuals that serve as a contractor to some governmental agency. No, they are no employees of DOD, or DHS, or the FDA, they are hired by third parties to staff projects, or work for these agencies. And,…[Read More]

Never look a severance in the mouth

I know, odd title. Years ago I worked in Loudoun County Virginia for a great General Practice Law Firm (Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White) and my old boss used to handle traffic, DUI cases. He would tell clients “never look a gift reckless” in the mouth.. obviously referring to the phrase never look a gift…[Read More]

You don’t have a right to work in a right to work state

When you hear you work and live in a “right to work” state, please know, it has nothing to do with your non-competition agreement. In fact, all the federal right to work law says is that you cannot be forced to join a union. There you have it. If you live in a ‘Right to…[Read More]

Jimmy Johns – really?

You have likely heard by now of the recent issue with Jimmy Johns sandwich shops, and their desire to have their minimum wage employees sign non-competes (as well as managers, etc.). Normally, specialty food stores have employees sign confidentiality agreements, that may say (paraphrasing of course) “hey employee, don’t go share our secret sauce recipe…[Read More]