It was recently reported by Reuters that Apple is building an electric car to compete against Tesla, GM and Nissan, and the tech giant has been hiring new employees to do so. Apple hired engineers from A123 Systems for its new battery division, and now A123 Systems is suing Apple for improperly poaching its employees. One of the employees Apple hired from A123 Systems allegedly tried to recruit other employees from A123 Systems while still subject to restrictive covenants in his employment contract with A123 systems. The case was filed in Massachusetts federal court.
Finding talent is critical to any business, but it’s important for businesses to be careful when hiring employees from competitors. Many times, new employees have post-employment obligations to their former employers, which may limit their ability to solicit employees or customers of that employer. Remember to check whether new employees have such obligations to their previous employers and whether those obligations are enforceable or not.