Certain jobs in Las Vegas come with an employment contract. When the person leave the company, certain provisions in the contract may follow them. Examples of this could include a non-compete clause or other provisions designed to protect the business from being harmed by the former employee’s knowledge of company secrets and contacts with clients.

Another clause you sometimes find prevents a former employee from recruiting his or her former colleagues to come to work for a competing company. A clause like that is at the center of new litigation filed by Abbott Laboratories against Boston Scientific. Abbott claims in the lawsuit that an executive at Boston Scientific has been poaching its employees in breach of contract.

The Boston Scientific executive used to work at Abbott, which has had three employees quit to go to work for Boston Scientific in recent weeks. Abbott says that the executive, who used to be one of its employees, recruited the three new hires even though he signed an agreement not to solicit Abbott employees. The lawsuit states that the executive and Boston Scientific defied the contract agreement despite having “full awareness” of its prohibition against recruiting Abbott employees.

It is not certain what Abbott is seeking with the lawsuit. It could ask for monetary damages, a court order enforcing the contract or both. One factor that could come up in the litigation is how involved the accused executive was in causing the new hires to leave Abbott, though Abbott says the executive agreed not to directly or indirectly recruit company employees.

Source: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, “Boston Scientific accused of poaching employees from Abbott Labs,” Don Seiffert, March 15, 2013

· For more information about litigation involving employment contracts or other business disputes, please visit our Las Vegas business litigation page.