Thomson Reuters Practical Law published a Practice Note co-authored by Peter A. Steinmeyer and Robert D. Goldstein, Members of the Firm, “Hiring from a Competitor: Practical Tips to Minimize Litigation Risk.” This Practice Note discusses potential statutory and common law claims when hiring from a competitor, the need to identify any existing contractual restrictions a potential new hire may have, how to avoid potential issues during the recruitment process, ensuring the new hire is a “good leaver” during the resignation process, responding to cease and desist letters, and potential pre-litigation settlement concepts.
Following is an excerpt:
In most industries, competition is not limited to battles over customers and clients, but also includes efforts to recruit, employ, and retain the most productive and talented workforce. In fact, many employers consider their employees to be their most valuable asset and vigorously work to prevent competitors from taking that asset. For that reason, litigation between competitors arising out of the recruitment of employees has become increasingly common. When a hiring employer becomes embroiled in such a dispute, the time and expense necessary to defend itself can easily outweigh the benefits of hiring the employee.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps a hiring employer can take to minimize the risk of litigation when recruiting employees from a competitor. This Note provides a number of practical suggestions for recruiting individuals from a competitor and significantly lowering the litigation risk for various associated claims.