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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Employee contracts, non-compete clauses, independent contractors, and theft

    Here's situation.
    My family owns a service related business that has 4 locations. One location in Kansas had 3 employees last week. They have been in trouble for the last several months due to not fulfilling their jobs, like not doing service calls and telling the managers that they did but we would receive calls asking why our guys never showed up. Telling one manager that it was a favor to work for him at another location even though he was getting paid for his time and the job that he was supposed to be doing. Thursday before the new year they were told that they had better get their heads screwed on or they would not have jobs come the first of the year. Well more problems arose and we talked to the guy that has been with us for 7 years and told us that he was taking another job, so he quit. Come Tuesday after the new year another employee called and asked where his paycheck was and was throwing a fit about it being was late due to the weather and was told that it was in the mail and as soon as the post office delivered it he would get it. Well he mouthed of one too many times during that conversation and he was told that his next paycheck would be his he got fired. Later that afternoon the 3rd employee was pissed that the other two had been "fired" and just knew that he was going to get fired too and started telling the owner of the company what he thought about him...well he DID get fired.
    After several phone calls to the previous employees to get over $2000 worth of tools and equipment back they have returned approx. $1000 of it. We have given them several chances to bring more of it in. They have not. Since the owner is working that location while filling positions he has heard more and more of what they have been up to the last 6 months or so. They were charging double what the services cost and pocketing the difference, they were doing jobs under the table...meaning they were telling customers they were with "ABC" Company" completing work but they were not putting it in their work logs and asking for checks to be written to the ABC-John Doe since he was the manager and did the banking also. Another thing is we are finding out that they were taking sales that walked into "ABC Companies" doors and taking them down the street to "XYZ Company" and giving them to them and getting paid for it. When two of these employees were hired they signed an employee contract that has a non compete clause in it for the time in which they are employed by "ABC Company" and for 90 days after. The 3rd employee was a contact sales person and signed an exclusive sales contract for "ABC Company" stating that he would not sell for any one else with like service with selling for us. What rights do the employers have and what rights do the employees have?
    One last thing-when told that they were going to be charged with theft if not all equipment was returned by friday the 3rd employee stated that if we turned him in he would be sueing us for a hostile work environment b/c they were told that they wouldn't have jobs come the first of they year if they didn't straighten up? Does he have this right???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default Re: Employee contracts, non-compete clauses, independent contractors, and theft

    Whether the non competes are enforceable or not is a question for a local attorney in your area as non competes are state specific and no one here has read the specifics (please don't post it) As for the three employees not returning all equipment--you will need to take them to smal claims and try to recover. Oh hostile work enviroment has a completely different meaning under the law. To meet that definition, the employee must be able to show that s/he is being subjected to either sexual harassment or illegal discrimination under Title VII (race, religion, national origin, age etc.). It has nothing to do with the atmosphere of your workplace, no matter how unpleasant it may be.

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