Is it legal for a California company to prevent a recruiting firm from recruiting its employees?

Asked 5 months ago - Calabasas, CA

My company, in California, is entering an agreement with a popular executive recruiting firm to provide leadership assessments and coaching and as part of the agreement wants to prevent the recruiting firm from recruiting employees from the company for a period of time. This comes at a time when salary increases have been frozen and promotions are very constrained. Therefore, the agreement is limiting opportunities for top talent to be recruited by this particular executive recruiter.

Additional information

Perhaps the question was not clear. The company I work for is requiring the clause that prevents the recruiter from recruiting at my company. This does not seem legal. I perfectly understand how the recruiting company would want protection from my company to prevent us from poaching their employees, that is very normal. BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE SECTION 16600. Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes it is legal, otherwise they may be slitting their own throats. I bet the contract was drawn up by the recruiting company.

    Please only call me if your case is in California as I am only licensed here and laws of other states may vary.... more
  2. Gerard William O'Brien

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Put a clause in the contract that says exactly what you want it too. "The ABC company will not recruit for employment elsewhere any current employee of the principal, and in regards to this agreement ABC company is acting as a fiduciary of your company." See an attorney contracts prepared by others could by laced with objectionable, vague, ooppressive or other clauses. An hour of pre-counseling often saves a year of itigation.

    Every thing that I am saying here is my opinion and it is not based on any particular case. My response is just... more
  3. Michael David Early

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is nothing illegal about your company insisting that a recruiting firm it is paying to assist the company not at the same time recruit the company's employees to work for another employer. This does not prevent anyone at your company from working anywhere they want to. It simply means that they may not be able to use the services of this particular recruiting firm to help them get there. Technically, you or anyone else at the company should still be able to approach the recruiting firm; in other words, it's okay for the company to tell the recruiting firm that they can't solicit the company's employees, but the employees should still be able to approach the recruiter. Nevertheless, even in this case, it is likely that the recruiting firm will not want to jeopardize its relationship with the company by talking to an employee who approaches them. Their decision is also entirely legal.

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