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Contract disputes: Ex sales manager sued re non-compete contract

Many Texas employees may not be fully aware of what all of the clauses mean in a non-compete agreement before they sign it. Workers who skim the information and assume that everything is in order, or assume that it will not affect them because they have no intention of quitting, may be mistaken. Misunderstanding these agreements can result in contract disputes that could be very costly.

Merz North America Inc. recently filed a complaint in a federal district court against one of its former workers. The company claims he violated a non-compete agreement by disclosing trade secrets. The man was a regional sales manager who reportedly had access to private company information and other pertinent trade secrets. Prior to leaving his position, he apparently signed a non-compete agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Merz claims the man agreed that he would not compete with his former employer if he left the company's employ.

It is alleged that the man violated the non-compete agreement. He is accused of transferring classified company information to his personal email address and a flash drive prior to his resignation. Merz asserts that the man acted with the intent to benefit its direct competitors.

Merz has also accused the former employee of violating the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The company seeks the return of the stolen information as well as compensation for its legal fees and for all profits that were lost as a result of his actions. Individuals in Texas who are asked to sign non-compete agreements are best served by first having the document reviewed by an experienced employment law attorney. Not doing so could ultimately result in potentially expensive contract disputes and restrict future employment opportunities.

Source:, "Merz North America Inc. sues former employee over breach of contract allegations", Carrie Bradon, Dec. 21, 2015

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