I am seeing a disturbing trend where an ex-employee, who never signed a non-compete agreement with his/her ex-employer, is faced with an attempt by the ex-employer to prevent the ex-employee from competing in the business world. How? By claiming the ex-employee is using “trade secrets” from the previous job to further their career with the new employer…even if they have done nothing yet.
The former employer claims the ex-employee will “inevitably disclose” and use those trade secrets in their new job. What a bunch of BS!
First, what many employers claim as “trade secrets” are not. Those customer lists and production procedures can usually be found on the Internet or collected at any trade association meeting. Second, why should the ex-employee be hauled into court to defend himself/herself against a request for an injunction when they have not even acted upon the information contained in their head? I hope judges in Virginia will see these attempts for what they are. Baseless attempts to prevent a departed employee from working in their chosen field or profession.