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Executive found to not violate non-compete clause in job switch

Employment contracts can be hugely beneficial, but they still come with problems from time to time. On the one hand, they set out the terms of employment, so the employee can see what is expected of them. On the other hand, vague clauses and especially clauses that affect individuals when they move to another job, can be difficult to navigate. Workers in Indiana should try to ensure they understand their employment contracts fully to avoid potential legal repercussions.

In Missouri, Calero Software and their subsidiary telecommunications company Veramark became involved in one such employment lawsuit. The two firms sued a former employee, along with Cass Information Systems Inc., the former employee’s current employer. Their complaint was that the former vice president of sales was in breach of a non-compete clause when he joined the other company.

The two companies sought a court order to have the former employee banned from working at Cass until the expiration of the 12-month clause. However, the case did not go their way and was ultimately dismissed. The judge ruled that there was not enough evidence to suggest that the man's move to Cass would be significantly harmful to the other companies. She further ruled that Veramark and Calero had failed to justify the necessity of the clause.

This may have happened in another state, but it is a matter that is just as relevant to employees in Indiana. Aspects such as non-compete agreements can make it very difficult to switch jobs so it is important to know where you stand. An attorney may be able to help you clarify the terms of your contract and challenge it if necessary. By taking steps to understand your position, you have a better chance of protecting yourself from disputes and costly lawsuits.

Source: Democrat & Chronicle, "Judge tosses out Veramark non-compete suit," Matthew Daneman, April 24, 2014

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