• Employee 'No Poaching' Agreements Meet the Antitrust Laws: Protection of Employees in the New Economy
  • August 9, 2017 | Author: Michael M. Briley
  • Law Firm: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP - Toledo Office
  • For centuries employers have maintained a strong interest in trying to protect their most valuable asset, their key employees, from solicitation by and loss to other employers, especially competitors. As a result, “no poaching” (i.e., “we agree to not solicit or hire each other’s employees”) agreements have become prevalent, not only in contracts between competitors, but also in many vendor/ buyer agreements. The “new economy” (post 2008), however, has brought with it an intensified national focus on jobs and employment opportunity, as evidenced dramatically in the recent election cycle. The national policy of our country has always been in favor of employee mobility and any efforts by employers to limit or impede that mobility have been disfavored and limited by most courts. Recently, however, in the employment market, this provision has become a focus the magnitude of which has not been seen since the end of the Great Depression. This reality is especially important today in assessing the likely future legal viability of no poaching agreements between employers.