Trade secrets can be the most vital aspects of an organization’s edge in the market, but it can be difficult to safeguard these from employees who leave to work for another company or start their own. Noncompete agreements can provide some measure of protection. However, the focus of the state’s Business and Commerce Code is to prevent the monopoly of trade and unfair competition, and Texas courts may rule in favor of the employees when these agreements end in litigation.
Federal laws regulate employment in Texas and around the country. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect employees from discrimination based on race, sex, nationality or religion in the workplace. In light of the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling that makes same-sex marriages legal, many wonder how employment regulations will be affected. A proposed House bill called the First Amendment Defense Act seeks to allow employers to make employment decisions based on their religious beliefs regarding marriage, according to its supporters.
The court will rule a non-compete agreement unenforceable if it is not drafted correctly. One critical aspect of enforceability is the inclusion of a reasonable time period that the covenant is in effect. According to Texas Business and Commerce Code §15.50(a), the time limitation is not reasonable if it is vague, or if the restriction it imposes goes above the amount of time needed to protect the interests of the business.
State and federal laws grant workers in Texas, and elsewhere, certain protections. One such law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Actual or perceived violations of this law could result in disputes between you and your employees.
In the business world, a company’s success often depends on its leadership. The right CEO or executives can turn a small company into a global leader. Because of this important role they play, it is not uncommon for Texas companies to pay their CEOs a substantial income and provide other perks. However, some people are calling for more employment regulations when it comes to CEO compensation. A recent study focused on whether CEO pay gains are justified.