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Employee stold our clients Texas

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  • Employee stold our clients Texas

    One of our employees recently quit. In clearing up the office, we found contracts, lead lists, and a letter he had generated to companies telling them he was no longer with us. He apparently opened his own company and was being paid by us but was working his own company. He did do some work but we feel he shouldn't get paid for his future commissions if he was stealing our clients and using our contracts, etc. just chaning them to his company name. Any input on this?

  • #2
    I hope you had a non-compete agreement

    The Payday Law in Texas requires that employers pay employees for all time worked, and that they pay commissions based on the commission agreement. Separated employees, likewise, must be paid on the commission agreement in effect at the time they were employed, unless there is an agreement otherwise. You can't refuse to pay vested wages because the employee did not work the way you wanted him to. Employees who do that may be dealt with in other ways.

    If you had an agreement prohibiting the employee from prospecting for clients on his own behalf, or from being engaged in a business in competition with yours, you may have some ability to sue him under that agreement. If you didn't have such an agreement, you will want to develop one for the next time, and for anyone else who may be able to spirit your clients away.

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    • #3
      Employee stold our clients Texas

      I am the secretary but I had told my boss to get all employees to sign the Non-Compete Agreement but what do I know right? Anyway, this person stole drawings, pictures, brochures, contracts, and agreements from us. He never asked for permission to use them and definetly not to take them with him. The contracts we found were verbatum to ours, word for word he just changed to his name.

      He wrote letters to our clients telling them he no longer worked for us and that he was opening up his company. When in reality he was working with us and plegerizing our information. We found one of his lists and it has our clients' names on it. HELP!!! Thank you in advance.

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      • #4
        I strongly advise you to contact an attorney and begin legal proceeeding beginning with a cease and desist letter. This may or may not scare the employee, but even absent a non-compete/non-solicit, you may have legal recourse especially where he misappropriated company property.

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        • #5
          Absolutely agree

          You need far more help than you can get from a free internet labor law board, as well thought out as are most of the posts on this board. Your boss has the potential for long term, and expensive losses here. You are dealing with issues of copyright violations (assuming someone with your company wrote the documents, instead of using someone else's), maybe restraint of trade or poaching clients (that's frowned on in Texas), and you need some legal advice, and quickly.

          You also, as rjc suggests, need to put the fear of God in this guy, and communicate professionally and quickly with clients or customers he may have poached, to let them know that he may not be on the up-and-up.

          Whether you pay him commissions may be a very small drop in the bucket as to what this could cost.

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          • #6
            Employee misconduct

            Does anybody have a good article we can read that might have information on employee misconduct. Thanks

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            • #7
              Misconduct by employee

              Thank you very much for this information. It has been very helpful to me. I will show these findings to my boss and tell him to get legal help asap. Thanks a whole lot.

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