Employees with specific skills and knowledge unique to an industry often work under the terms of noncompete agreements, which prevent direct competitors from poaching key workers and thus unfairly competing against the worker’s former employer.
Before you hire employees from the competition, make sure they don’t have an existing noncompete agreement. When in doubt, consult an attorney.
Recent case: When Neal went to work for his former employer’s direct competitor, the former employer went on to lose over $500,000 during the next year. His new employer, on the other hand, saw an increase in revenue over $600,000.
His former employer sued, and the court said the profit swing could be attributable to Neal’s move. A jury will decide if that’s the case. (St. Jude Medical v. Hanson, Biotronik, No. 13-2463, DC MN, 2015)