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Friday, November 11, 2022

Lawsuits Over Noncompete and Nonsolicitation Contracts

At The Salt Lake Tribune, Taylor Stevens reports on a lawsuit in Saratoga Springs, Utah:
The lawsuit, filed in July by Utah Behavior Services, alleges several of the company’s former employees violated the noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements in their employment contracts when they left and went to work with PBJ & Friends, which opened its doors in June.

A judge in September declined to enforce a temporary restraining order sought by Utah Behavior Services that would have barred the plaintiffs from working while the lawsuit progresses. But PBJ & Friends says a future ruling in favor of Utah Behavior Services could prevent many of its employees from working and force the new company to reduce its hours.

That outcome, the defendants say, would further limit access to autism services amid growing need and a lack of qualified providers.

“We’re hurting people here.... A lot,” if the lawsuit is successful, argued Austin Hepworth, an attorney who’s representing the defendants. “And to us from a societal perspective, that isn’t warranted when the company is not losing clients because they have a waitlist that’s, to our knowledge, longer than the noncompete period.”

The complaint against PBJ & Friends is one of similar lawsuits Utah Behavior Services has filed against a total of 14 former employees in the last seven years, the Utah Investigative Journalism Project has found. The other suits have been either dismissed or settled.