Owning and running a business in Georgia takes dedication. The varied responsibilities and demands of business operation require not only someone who has a wide skill set, but they generally need other people who can take on part of the work. Most employers hope that their employees will show a sense of loyalty by fulfilling their job description, speaking well of the company and by not sharing any business secrets. However, employees are human and sometimes do not honor these agreements, which can be particularly detrimental in the case of company proprietary information. The former owner of a professional soccer team who owns several other businesses is now facing this exact problem as he is suing a former employee and friend for violating their noncompete agreement.
The businessman alleges that his former employee gave information to a competitor. The employee used to work for three of the businessman’s companies over a period of almost nine years. The employee resigned earlier this year, which was when the businessman says he found out about the alleged theft of information. Those three companies have now filed a lawsuit against the ex-employee
Representatives for the businessman say that he fully trusted the employee, even considering him a long-time friend. They allege that the employee assisted a competitor with plans to develop a tower in the state where the suit was filed. They also claim that the employee poached another employee who served in an advisory capacity to one of the businessman’s companies. A noncompete agreement that the employee signed in 2010 was in place that should have prevented the employee from working for competitors or handing over any proprietary information.
Business owners should consider using a nondisclosure or noncompete agreement with their employees in case of situations just like this one. These agreements can not only prohibit employees from sharing sensitive company information, but they can be part of an entire employment contract that outlines compensation and performance reviews. Georgia business owners may want to consult an attorney with experience in business law to ensure that these agreements are comprehensive and legally binding.