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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

DOJ Settles Enforcement Action Targeting “No Poach” Agreements

In our February post discussing this issue, we predicted that federal criminal antitrust prosecutions of no-poaching and no-hire agreements were on the near horizon due to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division’s (“DOJ”) October 2016 guidance alerting companies and HR professionals to beware of the antitrust risk involved in hiring and compensation decisions. Making good on these warnings, the DOJ recently announced a settlement with two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers (Germany-based Knorr-Bremse AG (“Knorr”) and Delaware corporation Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (“Wabtec”)) to resolve allegations that the companies maintained long-standing agreements not to compete for employees.

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  • 23
  • March
  • 2018

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Inevitable Disclosure in Texas: Are Companies Protected from Employee Movement that Threatens Their Trade Secrets?

Imagine an employee who has access to valuable information regarding how your business is run. That employee then accepts a position with a competitor in which he would perform similar job duties and in which the sensitive or proprietary information he knows about would be helpful (and probably made him a strong candidate in the first place). Moreover, it is almost certain that the sensitive or proprietary information will be revealed by virtue of that position. Even without a non-compete or confidentiality agreement, the former employer may have a claim that his former employee is violating trade-secret laws in the new job. This concept — that the employee will necessarily divulge his former employer’s confidential information in a subsequent job — is called “inevitable disclosure.”

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Criminal Antitrust Investigations Likely Underway in the Area of Employee Compensation and Hiring

In November 2016, we reported that the nation’s antitrust enforcement agencies, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission, had jointly issued Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals alerting companies and HR professionals to beware of the antitrust risk involved in hiring and compensation decisions. The Agencies warned against agreements between two or more employers to limit or fix the terms of employment; to set wages and other compensation; or to refrain from soliciting or recruiting one another’s employees (referred to as “no-poaching” agreements). The 2016 Guidance put companies and individuals on notice that, going forward, such conduct would be subject to criminal prosecution.

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  • 19
  • January
  • 2018

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Non-Competes in the Asia Pacific

Much like in the U.S., Asia-Pacific countries generally disfavor restraints on trade as a matter of public policy and enforce them, if at all, only to the extent the restrictions (1) are reasonable in light of the facts, (2) are supported by adequate consideration, and (3) protect a legitimate business interest. Highlighted below are certain guidelines concerning post-employment non-compete agreements in seven nations that are popular choices for regional headquarters of U.S.-based multinational companies.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel

Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard Associate