Note: This article appears in the February 2016 edition of Barnes & Thornburg LLP's Logistically Speaking e-newsletter.
Illinois Court Rules Two Year Bright Line Rule for Consideration in Restrictive Covenant Does Not Apply (Traffic Tech, Inc. v. Kreiter and Total Transportation Network, N.D. Ill.)
Vice President of Business Development resigned and misappropriated confidential and proprietary business information from his prior employer. The new employer, a competitor, used that information to successfully solicit the customers of the former employer. The former employee accused of taking and using the confidential and proprietary business information argued that his restrictive covenant was not enforceable due to a lack of consideration because the former employee had not been employed for two years. Based on the totality of circumstances, the court ruled that the two-year bright line test under Illinois for adequate consideration for restrictive covenants did not apply and the complaint was not dismissed.
Employee Claim of Sexual Harassment is Dismissed (Nardi v. ALG Worldwide Logistics and Transport Leasing Contract Inc., N.D. Ill.)
Employee was terminated for being uncooperative nine days after she told management that co-workers were viewing pornography at work. Prior to this complaint, employee received two written warnings and was placed on probation. Employee filed a complaint alleging hostile environment sexual harassment. The employee’s claim was dismissed. According to the court, the employee offered only “minimal” evidence that her work environment was objectively hostile or that the conduct was severe or pervasive. The court said that “[T’]hough unpleasant and inappropriate, co-worker attention to pornography was not physically threatening or humiliating.…”
Cargo Shipper Sues Rival for Poaching Employee (Fr. Meyer’s Sohn North America LLC v. Bruendel, 5:16-cv-00277, E.D. Pa.)
An employee with more than a decade of work experience with FMS abruptly resigned to go to work with a competitor in the same capacity. The employee had a three year employment agreement with FMS. FMS had recently paid for the employee to study at Pepperdine University to receive his MBA. FMS filed a complaint alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and to prevent the employee from inevitably disclosing confidential marketing and sales information to a competitor. FMS sued the new employer for tortious interference with contractual relations. This recent case in ongoing.