Apple, Adobe, Google, and Intel had a $415 million settlement approved last week to settle the terms of a lawsuit brought by software engineers alleging that the companies had violated wage and anti-trust laws by agreeing not to recruit or “poach” each other’s employees.

The case began in 2009 when the U.S. Department of Justice

We previously discussed here the antitrust case involving several high-tech companies who allegedly entered into bilateral agreements in which they agreed not to solicit each other’s employees. These companies settled with the U.S. Department of Justice and were subsequently sued by a class of software engineers. Early on, Intuit and Pixar/Lucasfilm settled, and recently the

Sometimes, the worlds of antitrust law and employment law intersect. For example, as most businesses know, it is generally permissible under federal, state, and local law for employers to enter into non-recruitment or non-competition agreements with their employees that are reasonably tailored to prevent unfair competition. A non-recruitment agreement typically prohibits an employee from stealing

Describing it as a “rather novel issue,” a federal court recently held that a former employee’s public posts on his personal Facebook page did not constitute solicitation of his former co-workers under the terms of his non-solicitation agreement with his former employer. [See Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, No. 12-CV-346, Doc. 31 (Jan. 22, 2013), Report and Recommendation affirmed and adopted, Doc. 32 (Feb. 12, 2013)] The court further noted that invitations sent to former co-workers to join Twitter were not solicitations under the agreement because the invitations did not request the co-workers to “follow” the former employee, they did not contain any information about the new employer, and they were sent by Twitter instead of as targeted email blasts by the former employee.

Though the court found that the former employee’s social networking activities did not constitute solicitation under his agreement, it did enter a preliminary injunction against the former employee based on his direct solicitation of one of his former co-workers through a private in-person meeting and follow up text messages sent to the co-worker. The court entered the injunction until the issues could be presented to an arbitrator pursuant to the parties’ arbitration agreement.


Continue Reading Facebook Posts Not “Solicitation” Under Former Employee’s Restrictive Covenant Agreement

In Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, the U.S. Supreme Court this week held that if a contract contains an arbitration provision and there is a challenge to the validity of the contract, it is for the arbitrator and not a court to hear that challenge. The case is important for employers because the challenge was to the validity of a non-competition agreement.
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court: A Challenge To The Enforceability Of A Non-Competition Agreement Must Be Presented To The Arbitrator, And Not A Court, If The Contract Contains An Arbitration Provision

This past May, we reported that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in Acordia of Ohio, L.L.C. v. Fishel that following a merger, the surviving company may not be able to enforce employees’ non-compete agreements, where the agreements failed to contain an assignment clause, and the time period of the employees’ non-competes began to run as of the date of the merger. The Court reconsidered its decision, and issued a new decision today.
Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Partially Reverses its Acordia Non-Compete Decision

In a case that vividly demonstrates how employers are vulnerable to insider cyber attacks, a recent federal court decision out of the Southern District of Ohio addressed the scope of federal statutes designed to address such activity.
Continue Reading State Tort and CFAA Claims Survive Motion to Dismiss In Ohio Employee Cyberhacking Case.