Former employee faces accusations related to unfair competition


Business in Louisiana is tough. Success requires not just intuition, intelligence and knowhow, but also self-protection. There is a constantly looming threat that issues of unfair competition will arise. Often, this happens with former employees. Even if there was an agreement that there would not be direct competition, that frequently goes by the wayside when the former employee decides to start a competing business. This is when it is vital to understand how to move forward with business litigation with help from a law firm that is experienced in helping businesses protect their interests.

A restaurant that had left a previous location on the alleged advice of a former employee has filed a lawsuit when that former employee started a restaurant of his own at that spot. The site was where they began their business and they are now filing a lawsuit to prevent the new restaurant from opening. The married couple that started the chain filed the case in New Orleans against the former employee. The employee had been their head of business development. Over the last 10 years, the business rose to have 10 different locations extending from New Orleans to Florida.

The employee is said to have played a major role in its expansion. When the couple sought advice several months ago regarding the decision to maintain or close the flagship location when their lease ended this April, he told them to leave prior to the end of 2017. They did when the landlord offered to let them out of their lease. The employee resigned right after the new year. He did not tell them what he planned to do. They later found out that in late-January, he filed for permits to overhaul that location and install a new bar. They assert that the menu and concept is similar to theirs and that he misappropriated inside information he gathered by working for them. He denies that he did anything wrong.

With any business, it is imperative to have legal advice, but it is even more important when a business has expanded to multiple locations. When there are employees who are behaving in a way that seems as if they are trying to steal the employer's ideas or concepts for their own use, it can be the foundation for a lawsuit. Having legal assistance to shield oneself and put a stop to these behaviors is a foundational aspect to a successful business. Contacting a lawyer is the first step to take.

Source: nola.com, "Ruby Slipper Cafe owners sue to stop ex-employee restaurant," Greg LaRose, Feb. 18, 2018

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