Employers in Pennsylvania should consult with a lawyer to ensure that their restrictive covenant agreements contain the most up-to-date enforcement provisions. In Pennsylvania, to be considered incitement, the conduct in question must be intentional or intentional. This means that to violate such an agreement, you must actively sue the employees or customers of your former employer. Otherwise, your actions will not be considered a solicitation. On appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the trial court and enforced the solicitation bans. The Court proceeded from the basic assumption that the two officers received reasonable consideration for their non-solicitation agreement when they signed [their agreements] “as part of their initial employment relationship.” Citing several previous decisions, the court went on to find that “it is possible that a non-solicitation agreement may survive the end of a term of an employment contract if the employee remains an employee at will” if the written agreement so provides. With regard to the terms of each manager`s employment contract, the Court then found that the non-solicitation provision was clearly intended to be in force for three relevant periods: (a) during the three-year term of the employment contract; (b) for a period of continued employment after the expiry of the contract of employment; and (c) up to two years after the officers terminated Metalico`s employment relationship. Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc. (“PLS”) is an external logistics service provider that arranges the shipment of its customers` cargo with selected freight forwarding companies. PLS retained the services of Beemac Trucking (“Beemac”) to provide such shipping services, and the two entered into an agreement that included the following non-solicitation and non-hiring provisions: The most common example of a restrictive agreement is a non-compete obligation that restricts a former employee`s future employment opportunities. Other restrictions include trade secret protection and poaching bans, which aim to prohibit former employees from attracting the employer`s clients or trying to hire former colleagues. If your employer asks you to sign an employee poaching agreement, it`s usually wise to speak to an experienced labor lawyer first. With many years of experience serving employees in the United States, HKM Employment Attorneys can help you make an informed decision.
If you need legal assistance with an employee non-solicitation agreement, contact us today for an initial consultation. Poaching prohibitions are intended to prevent former employees from bringing an employer`s employee(s) to the former employee`s new employer. There are two types of solicitation prohibitions. Customer poaching bans prohibit former employees from contacting the employer`s customers. Employee poaching bans prohibit former employees from asking former colleagues to leave the employer and join a new employer. In the absence of a non-solicitation agreement, an employee is usually free to leave an employer and recruit the former employer`s clients and hire the employer`s employees. If you or someone you know has been the victim of an unenforceable non-solicitation agreement, you will need legal assistance. J.P. Ward & Associates is here to provide you with the legal advice you need regarding solicitation prohibitions.
To contact us, please fill out this contact form or call 877-259-WARD. We look forward to talking to you and helping you freely practice the profession of your choice. HKM Employment Attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has received numerous awards and distinctions in the field of labor law. Among other services, HKM Employment Attorneys LLP helps employees understand employment contracts and negotiate fair contracts. If you have any questions about the prohibition on applying for employment contracts or other aspects of labour law, please contact us as soon as possible. In all of the above situations, actions don`t count as a prompt. An employer who attempts to enforce a non-solicitation agreement in one of these scenarios will not succeed in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Legislature has not created laws that regulate solicitation bans. Over time, however, Pennsylvania courts have considered restrictive agreements such as non-compete clauses and solicitation bans. To be valid and enforceable, these agreements must have reasonable limits. Pittsburgh Logistics` decision, including the investigation of similar cases from other states, underscores the factual nature of any analysis of an employee non-hiring clause. It`s fair to say that even after Pittsburgh Logistics, Pennsylvania, employers are not prohibited from entering into or enforcing a contract that includes a no-hire deal.
However, such agreements are likely to be inadmissible in many or most situations, and employers who nevertheless attempt to enter into such agreements should consider the following factors: The Pennsylvania Legislature has not yet created laws specifically regarding solicitation prohibitions. However, Pennsylvania courts have ruled that a non-solicitation agreement is enforceable if: To be considered solicitation in Pennsylvania, there must be intentional or intentional conduct. The former employee must actively take or take similar action in violation of the non-solicitation agreement. Otherwise, the activities of the former employee cannot be considered a solicitation. Unlike its cousin, the non-compete obligation, a non-competition obligation does not prevent a former employee from working in the same field in which he already has experience. Instead, while still being able to do the same type of work, you can`t ask other employees to come with you or try to get clients from your former employer to frequent your company instead. In Metalico, two executives of a scrap dealer left their employer (“Metalico”) to join a competitor, Allegheny Raw Materials, Inc. (“ARM”).
When they joined Metalico, both had signed employment contracts that included solicitation bans that prevented them from recruiting one of Metalico`s suppliers until two years after their employment ended. Their employment contracts each had a duration of three years, and after these periods, the contracts were not renewed. Both executives worked for Metalico for some time as “at will” employees; that is, their salaries and bonuses were no longer contractually guaranteed. Finally, it should be noted that this problem does not only occur in Pennsylvania. In fact, the trend towards scrutiny of different types of “no poaching” agreements at the federal level is just as strong. Attention likely began in October 2016 with the release of “Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals” by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Since then, the Department of Justice (and some attorneys general) have filed civil lawsuits seeking agreements between competitors and franchisees not to recruit each other`s employees, and more recently, the Department of Justice has taken criminal action. Therefore, it would be desirable to proceed with great caution when it comes to pursuing any type of agreement that does not hire or recruit employees of another employer, and should only do so in narrow and targeted situations and only after consulting a lawyer specializing in labor law and antitrust. Most of the time, there is a single expedited litigation when an employer tries to enforce a non-compete clause or restrictive agreement. Employers argue that they will suffer direct harm from an employee who violates a non-compete obligation. As a result, employers file injunctions to try to remedy the situation immediately.
Injunctions are interim injunctions while awaiting litigation, sometimes issued by courts until a final decision on a plea is rendered. In order for an employer to obtain an injunction against the former employee, the employer must provide evidence that: (1) the injunction is necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable harm that cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages; (2) The refusal to issue the injunction causes more damage than its grant; (3) The injunction will return the parties to their status quo as it existed prior to the alleged misconduct; (4) the employer is likely to prevail over the merits; (5) the injunction is reasonably intended to enforce a restrictive agreement; and (6) the public interest is not prejudiced when the injunction is issued. While non-poaching of employee agreements may be legal in Pennsylvania, the courts have also established a number of guidelines. In particular, the courts are trying to assess the competitive effects of solicitation prohibitions. Non-compete obligations, also known as restrictive agreements, are often included in employment contracts or, in some cases where employees do not have a formal employment contract, workers must sign separate documents containing non-competition clauses or solicitations. .