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Keeping your customers after your employees go to a competitor

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

by David A. Hardesty, Clark Hill PLC, Detroit

Noncompete agreements protect employers should an employee leave and go to work for a competitor. But what happens if there isn’t a noncompetition agreement in place? Does an employer have any remedy against a former employee?

In most cases, competition by former employees is perfectly legal. But even absent a noncompete agreement, competition designed to interfere with your business relationships may be illegal. In appropriate circumstances, you can bring a claim against your former employee, the new employer or both for “tortious interference” with your customer relationships.

Under Michigan law, the elements of a tortious-interference claim are:

  1. The existence of a valid contract, business relationship or expectancy.
  2. Knowledge of the contract, relationship or expectancy on the part of the wrongdoer.
  3. Intentional interference either by per se wrongful means...(register to read more)

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