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Include clear nonsolicitation language in agreement

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in Human Resources

Don’t be shy about restricting employees from stealing customers when they leave. Your best bet is to include specific language and examples of the sort of solicitation you want to ban.

Recent case: National City bank employed Michael Boyd as a financial consultant. Boyd quit and went to Merrill Lynch. He then solicited past clients, persuading some to move their accounts. Boyd had signed a nonsolicitation agreement promising not to “solicit, accept or service” any customers for one year.

Boyd got the customers by mailing them an announcement explaining where he was working and directly contacting a few whose names and phone numbers he remembered.

National City sued, asking the court to issue an injunction blocking the solicitation. The court did, reasoning that it was pretty clear National City would win the case. (National City v. Boyd, No. 1:08-CV-2189, ND OH, 2008)

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