My employee was to go on site at my client's facility for a specific purpose. As time has gone by (over a year now) there has been no communication from the client regarding my employee's return to my studio.
You really can't prevent your employee working for someone else. However, if you have a contract between your high profile client then maybe there are some terms in your contract that control. Your former employee is not allowed to use trade secrets even though he worked for your client but that might be difficult to prove.
Best of luck.
Your employee has the right to work wherever they choose. California does not permit employers to prevent their employees from working anywhere, even for a competitor or a client.
The law is mixed on whether businesses can affirmatively solicit your employees. Some courts say they can, some say they can't. Here, however, you say that the client "poached" your employee. If the employee approached the client, that's not illegal "poaching." According to every court to consider the matter, that's just legal competition.
It would be necessary to know whether the client approached the employee about working there, or whether the employee approached the client, before being able to decide whether the action was legal or illegal. Even then, the law is not completely clear on this subject.
I am sorry the information is not more definite, but that is the current state of the law in California.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Craig T. Byrnes
Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.
On your bare statement of facts: none.
My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law. I am licensed in California, only. Answers must not be relied upon.<br> <br> Legal advice and counsel must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. <br> <br> I provide legal advice and counsel during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us.<br> <br> The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential. I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo because I have answered or commented on a question. Specifically, I assume no duty to respond to any question, comment, telephone call, or email.<br> <br> All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice or counsel in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult an attorney licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction for advice and counsel. See, also, Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.<br>
In California, the employer (you) doesn't "own" its employees. The law of California is very strongly in favor of "employee mobility," that is, the right of the employee to go to work where she wishes. You don't have the right to keep your employee from working where she wishes.
That said, if your former employee has taken your confidential and proprietary information or documents to your high profile client or to anyone else for their use, that is wrongful and contrary to California law. In that event, you may have a legal claim against your former employee and your high profile client for trade secret misappropriation, breach of your former employee's duty of loyalty, and potentially other claims. These claims would entitle you to seek monetary damages or injunctive relief.
I hope this is helpful.
This post does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is for general information and entertainment purposes, and does not constitute legal advice with respect to any specific situation. You should consult qualified legal counsel with respect to your specific situation.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline