Analysis | Massachusetts bill would require employers to pay up when enforcing noncompetes — but there’s a loophole

After a decade, an effort to protect workers was watered down in the version that will go to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for a signature. The new Massachusetts law described in this article will not impose a complete ban on enforcement of noncompete clauses in employment agreements. Only California, North Dakota and Oklahoma completely ban noncompetes.  It is a step in the right direction. A flood of publicity ensued recently about Jimmy Johns sandwich deliverers …

Sandwich Chain Jimmy John’s to Drop Noncompete Clauses From Hiring Packets – WSJ

The tide continues to turn in the states against employee non-compete agreements. New York, like most states, allows “reasonable” non-competes to be enforced. New York was able to get Jimmy John’s (and Law360 before it) to agree to drop non-competes from their standard employment contracts by arguing that the agreements placed “undue hardship” on employees that outweighed the legitimate interests of their employers.  Illinois has made similar arguments against Jimmy John’s non-competes. If this trend …

Legal Publisher in Settlement to Drop Noncompete Agreements for Employees

Is the tide turning in New York and Illinois against employee non-compete agreements? This Wall Street Journal article only refers to violations of “New York labor laws” as the focus of the New York Attorney General’s investigation of Law 360’s threat to enforce a non-compete against a former reporter. Since New York contract law permits “reasonable” employee non-compete agreements, it is unclear what laws might have been violated. The article also says that the Jimmy John’s sandwich …

Sports Law Biz Podcast 21: Lawyerball with Charles H. Martin

In this episode, Peter Ott discusses the MASN television rights fees lawsuit between the Orioles and the Nationals with Charles H. Martin. Charles is the author of Lawyerball: The Courtroom Battle of the Orioles Against the Nationals and MLB for the Future of Baseball. Sports Law Biz blogger and podcaster Peter Ott interviews me for the latest episode of his podcast. We discuss the Orioles lawsuit against the Nationals and MLB to overturn the cable fees …

Trade Secrets Law is Now Stronger Than Ever. Will This Lead More States To Invalidate the Less Useful, But More Pernicious, Employee Non-Compete?

Trade Secrets Law is Now Stronger Than Ever. Will This Lead More States To Invalidate the Less Useful, But More Pernicious, Employee Non-Compete Agreement? The “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” was signed into law yesterday by President Obama. It creates a new federal private civil action against trade secret thieves. This is a useful alternative to the pre-existing state private civil actions by trade secret owners, because it 1) provides access to federal courts nationwide, 2) …

Message to the Senate — The UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts | whitehouse.gov

Eleven years after it was approved by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (also known as the “Electronic Contracts Convention”) has been sent by the President to the Senate for ratification. A substantial portion of my book, Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts, analyses this Convention. My earlier academic articles suggested some procedural changes to the process of ratification, such as separate …

In HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, Art Imitates Life

    In the Season 2 finale of Silicon Valley, Pied Piper’s survival depends on a noncompete clause! I just watched the final episode of Season 2 of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”. Guess what! The survival of the hot startup “Pied Piper” depends on an arbitration of a claim that the startup belongs to a former employer, because the founder used the employer’s resources to create it. But, the arbitration decision depends on an interpretation of …

Mass. Tech Employer Says Noncompetes Hurt Workers and Their Employers

[The CEO of a fast-growing tech company explains why he eliminated almost all noncompete agreements for his employees.] None of us would tolerate limitations on where we choose to travel or live, yet there is passive acceptance of restricting where we can work….(Click link for full article) Source: Onshape CEO John McEleney: Noncompetes hurt workers and their employers – The Boston Globe

Duke Hit with Antitrust Suit for Non-Poaching Agreement with UNC

Were Duke University and the University of North Carolina wrong to agree to not solicit each other’s employees, or, as this article suggests, did they just do it the wrong way? Unlike California, North Carolina does not have a ban on employee noncompete agreements. Source: Locke Lord QuickStudy: Duke Hit with Antitrust Suit for Non-Poaching Agreement with UNC | Locke Lord LLP – JDSupra

Judge Awards Beastie Boys $668,000 in Legal Fees After Copyright Infringement Trial

  The Beastie Boys won $1.7 million in damages for a copyright violation by Monster Energy. My Newsletter 2 discusses this copyright infringement trial, and the related failed attempt to create a contract through an exchange of emails. See http://bit.ly/1i9kJZE Source: Judge Awards Beastie Boys $668,000 in Legal Fees After Trial

Nike Settles $10 Million Lawsuit Against Designers Accused of Violating Noncompete and Trade Secrets Agreements

Nike Inc has settled a lawsuit against three former shoe designers it had accused of stealing its commercial secrets and taking them to German rival Adidas AG with plans to open a footwear design Source: Nike settles with designers it accused of stealing secrets | Reuters

Can the Senate stop low-wage employers from tying up workers with non-competes?

U.S. Senators Al Franken and Chris Murphy think so. Today they will introduce  a bill titled the Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees (MOVE) Act to try to accomplish this. It would ban noncompete agreements for workers making less than $15 an hour, or $31,000 a year, unless the minimum wage in their jurisdiction is higher. Source: Can the Senate stop low-wage employers from tying up workers with non-competes?

Want More and Better Jobs? Ban Noncompetes. – Newsletter 7

Want More and Better Jobs? Ban Noncompetes. I. The Problems – There are Fewer New Businesses and Fewer Well-Paid Jobs in the U.S. Than Before the Great Recession II. A Solution – Employee Noncompete Agreements Hurt Labor Mobility and Business Formation, and Should Be Banned by State Law III. Noncompetes Proliferate, As Do the Studies That Criticize Them   I. The Problems – There are Fewer New Businesses and Fewer Well-Paid Jobs in the U.S. Than Before …

Apple and Google Increase No Poaching Lawsuit Settlement 

The employee class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe and other Silicon Valley tech companies is nearing settlement. The judge approved an increase in the employee damages from $324 million to $415 million. This represents compensation lost by employees who were not hired away by one of the companies from another company because of a secret agreement between them to avoid competition for existing employees. The companies secretly agreed to not “poach” each other’s …

California Health System Adopts E-Signature Technology

The solution helps the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System meet the Electronic Health Records Meaningful Use requirements. Now a hospital system allows surgery consent forms to be signed by e-signature. It reduces paperwork time and costs, and satisfies electronic health records incentives. Source: California Health System Adopts E-Signature Technology

If You Like My Slideshare, Please Vote for My SXSW V2V Panel Proposal by January 23

I have a new Slideshare presentation “5 Things to Do Before You Start A New Job“. If you like this adaptation of my earlier post “Business Booms Where Employee Noncompetes Are Banned, Fed Study Infers, But Use in U.S. Grows“, please vote for my South by Southwest V2V Panel Proposal before Friday, January 23 at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/44079. SXSW V2V, “A Boutique Event for Startups to Learn, Connect and Grow”, will take place July 19-22 in Las Vegas, …

A Paris Triumph for Artistic Freedom – With Contract Law – Newsletter 6

I. Clifford Brown Joins the Lionel Hampton Band Before Hampton Orders a Recording Ban for his European Tour II. Quincy Jones and Clifford Brown Go “Underground” in Paris at Night III. Fame and Jazz Glory – Hampton Threatens to Fire Brown – The Contract Law Solution IV. Coda “You’ve got to keep it going.” – Dizzy Gillespie to Clifford Brown after the death of trumpeter Theodore “Fats” Navarro (1950) “Don’t take a trumpet player with …

Business Booms Where Employee Noncompetes Are Banned, Fed Study Infers, But Use in U.S. Grows – Newsletter 5

Dear Readers, I. What Are Employee Noncompete Agreements, and Why Are They Important? II. Richmond Fed Study Ties Detroit Auto Boom to Michigan Ban on Employee Noncompete Agreements III. Richmond Fed Study Ties Silicon Valley Boom to California Ban on Employee Noncompete Agreements IV. Arguments for Employee Noncompete Agreements V. Arguments Against Employee Noncompete Agreements VI. Increasing Use of Noncompete Agreements by Employers VII. Conclusion “By 1914, the Dodge Brothers quit the Ford Motor Company …

Can AT&T Wireless “Throttle” its “Unlimited Data” Customers? – Newsletter 4

Dear Readers, Here is my analysis of the FTC’s suit against AT&T Wireless. I. FTC Sues AT&T for Deceiving its Smartphone Customers II. How AT&T’s Smartphone Data Throttling Works III. AT&T’s Defense of Adequate Disclosure to Customers IV. What Should AT&T “Unlimited Data” Smartphone Customers Do Now? I. Federal Trade Commission Sues AT&T Mobility LLC in San Francisco Federal Court for Deceiving Its Smartphone Customers On October 28, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued …

Every1’s Guide New Website and Free Info! Now in iBooks+Print! Vote for My SXSW Panel!

Dear Readers, NEW WEBSITE Since I last communicated with you, I have drastically revised my website, www.charleshmartin.com and www.every1sguide.com. It now includes a video introduction, and links to four free video lessons on “What Makes a Contract?”, “Contract Form Requirements and Electronic Contracts”, “Contract Breach, Remedies and Defenses”, and “International Contracts”. The new website also includes links to free PDFs of my “Top 9 Web Sites” for U.S. and for International Contract Law, and a …