Q. Our company recently offered a job to a highly skilled software designer. Upon offering the worker a position, she informed us that she had already accepted a similar position with one of our competitors. However, she told us that she would rather take our offer. What should we do?
A. Because the worker has already accepted the other position, you should avoid making any comments encouraging the worker to break her contract with your competitor. Given the technical skills of this worker and that her offer was from a competitor, the other company might decide that you interfered with a contract already established between it and the worker. That company could then sue you for intentional interference with economic relations, a tort claim that, if successful, can bring along with it substantial punitive damages.
Instead of encouraging the designer to revoke her acceptance of the position with your competitor, simply provide the worker with your company’s offer and allow her to make the decision on her own.
Further, prepare documentation indicating that she informed you of the other offer and that your company provided her with a job offer before obtaining this information. In addition, the documentation should reflect that the company did not encourage the worker to revoke her acceptance of the position with your competitor.