husband is production manager, 36 years, was offered position elsewhere, taking job, now owner of company threatening to sue him stating anywhere he goes will be considered conflict of interest.
In general, unless the employee has a contract, is under a non-compete, or has some other duty to the employer, in most cases, the employer cannot successfully sue an employee for quitting. However, I cannot give you an opinion on your husband's particular case without sitting down with him to discuss all the details and review any applicable contracts or other documents.
I suggest you speak to an experienced employment lawyer to review your husband's situation. Many of us will provide a free consultation.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should be aware that no attorney-client relationship is established through this answer and none will be established without a personal consultation and the signing of an engagement agreement.
The "conflict of interest" comment leads me to believe the former employer may be blowing smoke, but as Mr. Friedman notes, without discussing the situation in detail with your husband, it would be irresponsible to say he has no need to be concerned about this.
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An employee at will (not under a contract) is free to quit at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.
If your husband has signed an agreement/contract, he may be under some restrictions.
It would depend on the terms of your husband's employment. Did he have a contract with his employer? If he didn't then no, there is no law preventing him from quitting and working somewhere else. If he did have a contract and if the contract specifies a certain term of employment then your husband might be liable for damages if he quit before the end of the term. The other possibility is that the contract may include a noncompete clause. This would not prevent him from quitting but it would limit who we can work for in the near future.
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