I have a small company based in Irving. I sent my employee to work in a 3rd party client location through a Vendor company also based in Irving. I have non-compete and non-solicitation agreement with my employee not to solicit my Vendor. However, my employee all of a sudden does not talk to me and I heard from others that this Vendor company has solicited him so they can hire him directly. For now I know it is TRUE but I do not have actual PROOF that this vendor company solicited. Can I file a lawsuit with my allegation and then use discovery process to prove it because once I can get the emails with my employee and Vendor company, i am sure I can prove it. How do i go about this case? I would be glad to talk to any lawyers based in Dallas area if they are interested in taking the case
First, you would have to write the vendor a cease and desist letter to put the vendor on notice of the non-competition agreement. Without notice, the vendor would have a defense.
You really need to retain an attorney to evaluate the non-compet agreement. The Texas Covenant Not to Compete Act has specific requirements for a valid non-compete agreement. If the non-compete is not valid, you could be wasting a lot of time and effort.
You may wish to take advantage of my hour of free consultation for new clients. If you make an appointment, please bring copies of all your pertinent paperwork.
I agree with Attorney Erikson's analysis. I want to add that you may be looking at the wrong party. I think he's highlighted that, but I wanted to reinforce that you probably need to be issuing written notice to the employee, reminding him of breach of the agreement. Regardless of whether the noncompete is enforceable in a court of law, putting the employee on notice may open up the lines of communication, as you say you have not heard from the employee. You could send him the notice yourself, or hire an attorney with a limited scope of representation to draft the letter to the employee. If the employee is valuable enough to put under employment contract, he or she is probably valuable enough to have an attorney draft the letter. Did you have an attorney draft your employment agreement? If not, it may be time to have a Texas attorney revise your agreements so that you have certainty that your agreements will be enforceable in the future.