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New Cases of Interest - September 20, 2010
Silguero v. Crete Guard, Inc. (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 160. In this case, an employee’s former employer contacted a subsequent employer and informed the subsequent employer that the employee had signed an agreement which prohibited the employee from all sales activities for eighteen months after the employee’s departure or termination. While the subsequent employer had doubts as to the enforceability of that clause, based on an “understanding” with colleagues in the same industry, it terminated the employee. The employee subsequently brought a claim for wrongful termination.
The court found that the employee’s complaint alleged sufficient facts to support a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, the public policy being found in Business and Professions Code §16600 which prohibits noncompetition agreements. The “understanding” between the previous employer and the subsequent employer was unenforceable and violated such public policy. Further, the court held that allowing the lawsuit to proceed supported the public policy of allowing employees mobility and betterment, which was well established public policy in the Sate of California.