Non-compete and non-disclosure agreements can be an effective way to protect your business. With these valid contractual arrangements in place, you can rest assured that your former employees won’t go to work with direct competitors in your market or otherwise share sensitive information to the detriment of your business.
But sometimes, even a binding legal agreement isn’t enough to stop former employees from acting in a way that’s harmful to you and your business. If you discover that your former employee is violating a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement, you might want to think about reaching out to them to remind them of the legally enforceable agreement. If that doesn’t work, you might want to reach out to their new employer to discuss the matter, which may cause them to back away from that former employee or reallocate them in a way that aligns with an existing non-compete agreement.
But what if time is of the essence?
When it comes to non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle once released. That’s why, if you suspect that an existing agreement is being violated, you might not have time for friendly conversations with your former employee and their new employer if you want to protect your business interests. Instead, you might want to take immediate legal action by seeking a temporary restraining order.
How does a temporary restraining order work?
This type of order grants you immediate relief by ordering the other party, which in your case is probably a former employee, to refrain from acting in a certain way. This order may prevent that former employee from disclosing information or providing services to a new employer. In short, this temporary restraining order is aimed at preserving the status quo until the matter can be heard in court and a decision can be made as to whether a more permanent injunction is needed.
One benefit of a temporary restraining order is that it provides fast protection. This order can be obtained ex parte, meaning that you typically don’t have to provide notice to the party against whom the order is sought. With that said, your request for a temporary restraining order has to be detailed, laying out all of the justifications for why it should be granted.
What happens after a temporary restraining order is obtained?
Once the order has been granted, the court will likely set the matter for a hearing within weeks. Here, you can request a temporary or permanent injunction. What’s best for you will depend on the facts at hand and your ultimate goal.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that these hearings are evidentiary in nature. This means that you’re going to have to show up in court armed with compelling evidence to support your request. If you don’t, your request for an injunction will be denied, and the temporary restraining order will expire. This can leave you and your business without the protection that you need.
Do you need help navigating your business complexities?
There are a lot of issues that can arise when you’re running a business. Any one of them can threaten to derail your operations and your profitability. You certainly don’t want that to happen, which is why you should consider having a strong legal professional on your side as you navigate these matters.
If you’re interested in learning more about what a business law professional can do for you under your circumstances, please consider reaching out to a legal team that you think has the experience and track record to adequately represent your interests.