Restrictive covenants (such as non-competition and non-solicitation clauses) are a common feature of many employment agreements. It is relatively rare, however, that companies resort to litigation to enforce these requirements by way of an injunction. This may be down to the costs associated with doing so, or that the required legal threshold to obtain an injunction is high.
A non-solicitation clause is a contractual requirement that serves to protect an employer from a departing employee’s attempts to recruit its staff or solicit business from its customers, clients or suppliers. At their root, these clauses are designed to protect the legitimate business interests of a company or organization, and to avoid unexpected loss in the event that staff depart.
In February 2015 we wrote about a case where a former employee was ordered to pay $56,116.11 as a result of his failure to give reasonable notice of resignation. While these so-called wrongful resignation cases are rare, they should give anyone contemplating a hasty exit from their workplace second thoughts.
However, as evidenced by a recent decision out of Sudbury, employers too should think twice prior to going to court on the basis of wrongful resignation.
It is an all too common story. You prepared for the job interview. You got all of the questions right. All you have to do is sign on the bottom line and you do, because it is just a formality, isn't it? And you don't want to rock the boat before you even have your first day at work.
Something like the fictional sequence of events above will sound familiar to most people. It is very rare for employees to push back at the time of hire about the terms of their employment. However, you can expect that when an employer puts an employment contract in front of you, it is designed to protect the company's interests and not your own. The next time you have to consider signing an employment contract, watch out for these five key items.