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Tag: Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty

The Duty of Loyalty You Owe Your Employer

December 18, 2012

This week, I sent an email that read something like this:

If you do you what propose to do, i.e., start a company on the side and bid for the same contract your current employer is bidding on, while still an employee of the company, you will be in big fat trouble. The kind of trouble that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars trouble. You will get fired. You will get dragged to court. You will lose, and no, capitalism doesn’t protect you, nor does the fact that Virginia is a right to work state. Please reconsider.

Total side bar – if you think “right to work” somehow protects you from your non-compete, please, Google it. See Michigan. Right to work has nothing to do with your non-compete. Nothing. I swear!

What could this employee have possibly contemplated that prompted such a strong message?

By starting a competing business while they were still employed at the company, they risked violating the a legal duty that employees owe their employers under Virginia law: the duty of loyalty.
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