Customer Lists are very big items to companies. It doesn’t matter whether the company is a general contractor, stock broker, or commercial wholesale or retail supply business. Companies just do not want their employees walking out of the door with their customer or client lists and then contacting or soliciting those customers for their own newly started business or for an already establish competitor.
How do companies protect themselves? They do it by placing non-solicitation provisions in their employment agreements. They do it by inserting provisions in non-compete agreements which prohibit the employee, after leaving the company, from conducting business with any previous or existing customer of the former employer. Some business even go so far as to prohibit the departing employee from soliciting business from a person or business which could have become a customer of the employer.
If you are leaving your current job and intend on contacting some of your old company’s customers or clients, you better read your employment agreement and consult with a knowledgeable attorney.