TIS THE SEASON – FOR SAYING TOO MUCH 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

Tis the Season, right? The Season for office Christmas parties and cocktails and people saying too much to their colleagues.

I remember one office Christmas party many years ago that involved inappropriate jokes and alcohol. People were overly friendly and a few hilarious memories were made.

But can you imagine with me how these informal activities could lead to litigation?

Employee Fred has a few drinks and tells Sally from HR that he would like to take her to dinner. Sally says there is an office policy that you cannot date colleagues.

Fred says “I won’t be a colleague for long – I am starting my own business.”

“Wow,” says Sally, impressed with his tenacity. “What kind of business?”

“I can make a heck of alot more money selling Widgets for myself and do a better job that these $%^(^ Clowns!” Fred exclaims. “Three of our suppliers and clients are already on board. Hey, maybe in a few weeks you could come work for me too.”

Sally, still impressed, but now concerned, says “Fred – what about your non-compete? Non-solicitation clause? Aren’t you worried?”

And you know where it goes from here. Fred leaves, and Sally tells management he is competing.

Now, Tis the Season for many things but I doubt you want to add employment litigation to your list. Call us first. If Fred calls here, I will certainly help him out of this very sticky situation and encourage him to act appropriately.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.

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