June 2, 2010

LinkedIn Liasons Lead to Lawsuit over Non-compete

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Social Media in the Workplace tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:43 am by Tom Jacobson

In a lawsuit filed recently in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, TEKSystems, Inc. alleges, among other things, that a former employee has violated a non-compete agreement by using LinkedIn.  Specifically, TEKSystems claims that the former employee has used LinkedIn to make “connections” with TEKSystems’  customers who were off-limits to her pursuant to the terms of her covenant not to compete.  TEKSystems is seeking money damages, attorney’s fees, court costs, and a court-ordered injunction to stop the alleged violations.

To read the full Complaint, visit http://bit.ly/9dBzHA.

Although it will likely take quite some time for this case to wind its way through the court system, there are lessons to be learned from the case.  First, employers who use non-compete agreements should have them drafted so that they are more likely apply to “cyber” violations as well as more traditional competition and solicitation.  Second, when seeking to enforce such agreements, employers should not overlook the possibility of social media violations.  Third, employees who are subject to such restrictive covenants would be wise to not try to end-run them by doing something on-line that would be prohibited in a more traditional context.

The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only.  They are not to be considered as legal advice, and they do not establish an attorney-client relationship.  For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your attorney.

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