Can my current employer sue me if I quit and teach companies how to negotiate against them?

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Can my current employer sue me if I quit and teach companies how to negotiate against them?

I work in software sales but have a software procurement background. I haven’t sold anything and think I can make more money consulting for companies that need to know how to negotiate against software salesman. Can my current employer sue me if I do this since I may end up teaching their customers how to negotiate against them?

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They probably could sue you. To do what you propose, you will be using confidential or proprietary information of your employer--such as in regards to their profit margin, costs, the minimum amount they have to make on a sale, how they evaluate deals, how they negotiate, etc.--which you were taught for the employer's benefit, as part of your employment, for your benefit. Even in the absence of a non-competition agreement, the law generally does not allow an employee to use properietary information for his or her own benefit and the employer's detriment.


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