A small Metrowest plumbing company was sued in Worcester Superior Court after it hired a plumber who formerly worked for its competitor. The employer had previously been threatened with suit unless the employee either quit or was fired. Both the employer and the employee came to us for advice about the enforceability of the employee’s noncompetition agreement and help defending the lawsuit. The employee was not servicing or trying to take customers from his former employer, a much larger company. We reviewed the employer’s business model, the employee’s job duties, and the noncompetition agreement claims by the former employer. After efforts to amicably resolve the suit failed, we defended both the employer and the employee in the superior court.
Result: A request for a court order that our client’s employee be fired was denied. We successfully defended the lawsuit, which was eventually settled. Our client’s policies were reviewed and potential risks for future litigation in a number of employment areas were eliminated.