Grab your passports, compass and other essential travel gear, as this edition of The Restricting Covenant Series navigates through the treacherous waters of noncompete agreements and their geographic reach.
First Stop: New Jersey
Ah, the Garden State. Home to the most diners and shopping malls. Where the state bird is the American goldfinch, the state flower is the violet, but alas there is no official state song (perhaps a New Jersey native such as Bruce Springsteen, John Bon Jovi or Queen Latifah will change that). Who would ever want to leave? Well, suppose you worked for a New Jersey company that required you to sign a noncompete with a geographic restriction that prohibits you from competing in business against your employer anywhere within the entire Garden State after your employment ends (that’s right, all 365 exits and entrances on the Garden State Parkway). Could such a statewide geographic restriction be enforced? The short answer is: Maybe.
Continue reading “Part 28 of the “The Restricting Covenant Series”: Worldwide Noncompete Restrictions”
A recent decision issued by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is a reminder that not every employee who “blows the whistle” is a “whistleblower” protected under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), and that the New Jersey Supreme Court’s gatekeeping instructions to trial courts in Dzwonar v. McDevitt (2003) are alive and well.
Continue reading “Not Every Whistleblower Is a “Whistleblower” under New Jersey’s CEPA”
With 2020 finally in our rearview mirror, we can begin to look ahead to a promising and prosperous 2021. As the cloud of COVID-19 starts to lift (thanks to several vaccines), we expect employers will slowly begin to reopen their offices, employees will travel more, and the job market may revert back to the low unemployment levels that predated the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. The ever-changing landscape of restrictive covenants certainly could affect all of this employment-related activity, including non-competes and non-solicits. Here are our early predictions for the Top 3 hot-button issues to look out for in the coming year.
Continue reading “Top 3 Employee Mobility and Restrictive Covenant Issues to Watch For in 2021”
Starkey v. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis has been appealed. We expect the Seventh Circuit will soon have the opportunity, post-Bostock, to weigh in on the intersection of Title VII’s sexual orientation and gender identity protections and its religious organization exception, related to a religious organization’s employment decisions. This could foreshadow future disputes and court rulings in this developing area of the law.
For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.
Most of the action in restrictive covenant cases occurs in the beginning of the litigation at the temporary or preliminary injunction stage when a company seeks to stop someone from doing something immediately. However, after the dust settles and the case moves forward to discovery and trial, money damages often take center stage. There are different types of monetary relief that might be available to a company that is harmed by a former employee’s unlawful competitive conduct – compensatory, liquidated, equitable, or punitive, to name a few. This edition of The Restricting Covenant Series discusses a potentially potent form of equitable monetary relief in restrictive covenant and duty of loyalty cases – disgorgement of an employee’s compensation based on that employee’s competitive and disloyal conduct.
Continue reading “Part 27 of the “The Restricting Covenant Series”: Disgorgement”
The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and their employees’ work activities in a variety of ways. Millions of workers have been terminated, laid off or furloughed. Companies have shifted to remote workforces either partially or completely. Courts around the country continue to grapple with suspended or stayed proceedings. This pandemic is presenting some unique challenges and complications to many areas of the law, including restrictive covenant law, as discussed in this COVID-19-themed edition of The Restricting Covenant Series.
Continue reading “Part 26 of “The Restricting Covenant” Series: COVID-19 Edition”