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I. Memo Introduction
I stand for Howell’s Jewelry World in the pursuing matter. Howell’s Jewelry has filed a breach of a covenant not to compete against former employee, Jennifer Lawson. Ms. Lawson bestowed to Howell’s Jewelry in search of employment after termination from a local jeweler, Greene’s Jewelry, where she was employed as a junior executive secretary. My client, Howell’s Jewelry, agreed to hiring Ms. Lawson conditional on the carrying out of a standard employment contract, to which Ms. Lawson accepted. However, after a short time, she was let go for poor presentation with Howell’s Jewelry, and began working for a direct rival, Triumph Jewels.
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Ms. Lawson counter-sues for fraudulent inducement, believing that she was tricked into signing the employment contract with Howell and that Howell was never interested in hiring her, but was interested only in acquiring information on the process to create Ever-Gold. Additionally, we have filed suit against Triumph, Ms. Lawson’s current employer, claiming that they knew or should have known that Ms. Lawson was subject to a covenant not to compete. Which includes a non-competition clause for two (2) years after employment with the company ends, regardless of the reason. Triumph should therefore be chained by its provisions.
Howell’s Jewelry World’s break of contract claim will come through because it is clear that Ms. Lawson desecrated the provision to not work for a rival company for at least two (2) years. Ms. Lawson does not have a powerful claim in the accusation of deceitful inducement as sheread and executed the employee contract upon presentation; she was neither pressured into signing nor misled in the meaning of the provisions stated in the contract. The counter suit against Triumph Jewels is strong because their company was aware of our client’s practices to include non compete clauses in employment contracts, it is likely the companies are acquainted with the hiring process of the local rivals in the area.
II. Client’s Case
A. Facts and Laws
- Ms. Lawson was fired for unending lateness inside her first seven day stretch of work at Howell’s Jewelry World. Regardless of the underlying business contract, she was dependably a voluntarily worker, was well inside the underlying trial time frame put forward by her boss and was ended for worthy motivation. New Hampshire, as most different states, perceives the at-will employment convention. The general guideline is that without an employment contract for a clear term, either the business or representative may terminate employment at whenever in any capacity whatsoever not precluded by law, with or without notice. Businesses that desire to safeguard the at-will status should be mindful so as not to expect workers to give any predetermined measure of notice of resignation, since this would be conflicting with the at-will rule. (Chatfield, A. G.)
- Ms. Lawson was liable to Howell’s Jewelry World’s business contract which unequivocally expressed that she was not to work for any contender for two (2) years after she left the work of Howell’s; paying little heed to the explanation behind leaving; including whether she quit or is terminated. Non-competition agreements, otherwise called covenants not to contend or prohibitive covenants, are employment contracts utilized by bosses to constrain the capacity of a worker to rival the business by taking clients or prized formulas (LawServer). Enforceable agreements must strike a harmony between shielding the business’ genuine business interests from an unjustifiable upper hand with the representative’s entitlement to work in a field for which the person in question is prepared. When all is said in done, courts choose what is viewed as sensible or not sensible by looking at the sort and size of the business, to what extent and over what geographic zone the confinements apply and whether satisfactory thought, or advantage, was given the worker at the time the understanding was agreed upon (Law Server).
- David J. Cloutier v. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc.,121 N.H. 915; 436 A.2d 1140; 1981 N.H. LEXIS 432; 115 L.R.R.M. 4329; 96 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P55,378 (1981). The court held that a worker voluntarily could build up a reason for activity for illegitimate release by (1) demonstrating that the business was inspired by dishonesty, malignance, or striking back in firing the representative’s business, and (2) by showing that he was released in light of the fact that he played out a demonstration that open approach would energize, or wouldn’t accomplish something that open strategy would censure.
Cases the support Howell’s position in terms of contract disputes.
Smith v. Foster, 119 N.H. 679 (N.H. 1979) This case is about an accounting firm that had their employees sign a covenant not to compete, but after the employees left the company they were to work for another accounting firm within the geographical area stated in the covenant that was signed. There are three parts to a breach of a covenant not to compete case that must be met in order for it to stand in court. These courts reasoned that, due to the nature of the accounting profession and the accountant-client relationship, the restrictive covenants should be enforced because they furthered the employer’s legitimate interest “in protecting its business from former employees who have gained knowledge of its clients and internal operations and who thereafter engaged in a competing practice.” Faw, Casson Co. v. Cranston, 375 A.2d at 468.
C. Facts to be Determined
- A. Although Ms. Lawson signed the contract, was Howell in fact after only the information she has regarding the Ever-Gold process, as she was fired within a week of working for Howell?
B. Do all the local jewelry stores use the covenant not to compete? If not, would Triumph actually know that Ms. Lawson had signed one that prevented her from working for them?
C. Did Triumph hire Ms. Lawson because they needed the employee, or because they thought she would share some information from Howell that would aid them in their sales?
2. A. If Howell did in fact only want Ms. Lawson for the information she had then that will be
hard to defend. However if Howell wanted Ms. Lawson for her work ethic and Ms. Lawson didn’t prove up to her abilities then that will aid in defending Howell to win this case. Howell had every right to fire Ms. Lawson being that she was late to work every day, but knowing their full intentions from the beginning would help me in determining what laws and legalities I need to go through to defend Howell in the lawsuit.
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B. If they do all use the covenant not to compete then I will be able to easily defend Howell as Triumph should have known better than to hire someone immediately after leaving another local jewelry store.
C. If Triumph wanted information shared from Howell’s to aid in their sales then Howell would also be able to add to their lawsuit a breach of confidentiality, and there would be further laws that would need to be researched to aid in defending Howell.
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