What are en employee’s rights to go and work for another company that is not a competitor of their employer?

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2014

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What are en employee’s rights to go and work for another company that is not a competitor of their employer?

My company sent a cease and desist letter to another company because my fellow co-workers are leaving on their own to join this new company. The new company has not once come after any of my companies employees. several of us are leaving or want to leave to join this company for better pay, treatment and to further our careers. My employer is not happy because they are loosing employees and its putting them in a bind. Can my employer legally tell this new company not to hire us even though we are the ones applying on our own will? Both companies are in the oil field but do completely different jobs; there is not competition between the two.

Asked on January 17, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If an employee did not sign a non-competition agreement of some kind, he or she may work for another company--even a competitor. The employee may not use certain proprietary information (like proprietary manufacturing techniques or software, or client/customer lists) from the old job at the new job, but may work for a new employer--even, as stated, a competitor--in the absence of an agreement to the contrary.

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