Can you recruit that co-worker or former co-worker or key employee of a competitor in New Jersey without the risk of being sued? The answer is generally yes. Notice I said “generally” yes. The ultimate answer can be tricky and very fact and business specific. If you’re the employer being raided, you should take a good look at how you’re treating your employee because a court may refuse to grant relief where the employer has treated the employee unfairly.
How Far Can You Go to “Steal” an Employee from Another Employer?
Generally, a former employee or prospective employer can solicit a former co-worker or prospective employee. Any competitor can recruit your employees, as long as he or she does not cause the co-workers to breach an employment contract or cause excessive harm when multiple employees resign en masse. In a reported NJ case, a competitor was found to have tortiously interfered with a target company’s economic advantage where the competitor hired all of the target company’s sales force who were employed as door-to-door salespeople. The competitor had secretly targeted the company’s district manager who in turn solicited his salespeople while the district manager was still employed by the target company. The court found that this deception combined with the “planned campaign of mass recruiting” constituted malicious interference that entitled the target company to relief.
To discuss your NJ employment matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at email@example.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Employment Law Attorney