by David A. Hardesty, Clark Hill PLC, Detroit
Noncompete agreements protect employers should anand 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:
- The existence of a valid contract, business relationship or expectancy.
- Knowledge of the contract, relationship or expectancy on the part of the wrongdoer.
- Intentional interference either by per se wrongful means...(register to read more)