We get this question a lot…especially when a former employee signed a non-compete agreement but it now “competing” with his/her old employer!
Want an example of an actual case in Virginia? A pending case in the Fairfax County Circuit Court provides the details. The case, Virginia Academy of Fencing, Inc. v. Sintchinov, provides the typical scenario. The trial court ruled that a fencing company (the sport not the structure which keeps the cows in the field) could sue its former fencing instructor, and the competitors who hired him, for breach of non-compete, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and tortious interference with contract…including a claim for punitive damages.
The fencing company alleged the ex-employee acquired the names and addresses of the fencing company’s students and solicited them to leave the fencing company and hire him as an instructor, in direct violation of his non-compete agreement.
My Take: Get legal advice before competing with your old employer.