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Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 871
Experience:  Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
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I owe a small business, a hair salon. There is a new salon

Customer Question

I owe a small business, a hair salon. There is a new salon opening right across the street from me. I have been informed that my front desk person may be planning to leave/go work for them and take my employees/business information to them. What should I do right now to protect my business?? Should I have her sign a confidentiality agreement? If so, what type and what info should it have to protect my business and make her liable for doing the above?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
Hello. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can. This site is for educational purposes only. Sometimes - although certainly not always - experts have to give you what you deem “bad news” but that should not be a reflection of how satisfied you are with the assistance your expert provided. Experts on this site receive credit for assisting you when you click the rating (the stars) so please submit a rating prior to logging off. You aren't charged anything extra by submitting a rating.Rather than singling out this employee (what if you're wrong?) now would be an excellent time to hold a salon meeting with all the employees and "remind" them that the customers of the salon are the customers of the salon and even if they choose to go work somewhere else they may NOT take customer information with them. I would try to couch it in as friendly terms as possible ... "just as a reminder"... after that, if you choose to have them sign an employment agreement that would be fine - but I wouldn't be surprised if they didnt want to (particularly if they were planning on leaving). But at least you will have notified them that you know your rights, in the event someone tries to do something sneaky. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. Please also submit a rating if you're satisfied with your assistance; this will not cost you anything extra. We only get credit for the time we take assisting you if you are satisfied AND ALSO ​submit a rating. And please don't feel like we have to stop talking after you submit a rating. I'd be more than happy to continue working with you after that as well.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What about having this employee sign a confidentiality agreement?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She is coming in late and almost acting as if she wants us to fire her.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
I think that's perfectly acceptable. But she may not sign it, especially if she is willing to quit. If you want to fire you, you are within your rights to do so. Hers is an at-will employment, which means you can fire her for any legal cause, including this one. Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. Please also submit a rating if you're satisfied with your assistance; this will not cost you anything extra.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I need more advice the just holding a meeting with my staff.
Please be more detailed about any legal actions I can do as of now to protect my business.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
If she steals your customers from you, you can sue her for theft of trade secrets. If you're thinking of doing that you would need to have evidence that she is in fact taking customers from you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What type of evidence are you suggesting?
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
For example, someone seeing her downloading a list of customers.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
The reason I suggested a salon meeting is because it's a non-antagonistic way to remind your staff that they should not be soliciting customers. Additionally, you can *try* to have them sign an employment agreeing stating that they will not solicit customers but obviously if someone is planning on quitting or is trying to get you to fire them, they're unlikely to sign such an agreement. In that agreement you would put that they are subject to suit if they solicit customers of the salon. Customer lists can be considered a trade secret so you could potentially sue if yours are taken.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We already have told staff not to take or give salon info. But, this front desk person is working behind our back and allowing them to do it. She is working for the staff not the owners. It's very awkward.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I want to make her aware of our rights as the owners/employers she works for. But, we need to do it now.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
IF you feel she has already taken information, you can remind her that it's a violation of the law. IF you are concerned she will take information you're well within your rights to terminate her now. Obviously if you know where your weak link is, you just need to address it.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
It's obviously not unusual for stylists/staff to solicit customers when they leave, so it helps to have an employment agreement in place that talks about nonsolicitation. I hope this helps...
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have to go into a meeting right now pertaining to us. How can I continue this with you at future time?
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
If you need anything in the future, don't hesitate to reach out. You can always reach me directly by putting my first name in the first line of your request so it's routed to me and I'll be sure to answer if I am online (which I usually am). Please remember to submit a rating before you log off. I can help you with language for any agreements if you need that type of help in the future.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I also forgot to tell you that this employee posted on FB that she is taking on new position.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
So what is she waiting for?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I think she has been offered to recruit my employees and won't leave until she can do so, but today she posted she got business cards for her new position.
I feel she is trying to get fired so she can collect unemployment?
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
If you fire her now it would be for "cause" ... why would she need unemployment if she has a new job? I think you're taking a pretty big risk with your client lists by keeping someone employed under these circumstances.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If she gets paid off the books
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
Ah, I see. At that point it's not really what you should be concerned about - if it gets her away from your customer lists. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. Please also submit a rating if you're satisfied with your assistance. That is the only way we get credit for assisting you with your question(s).
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 8 months ago.
Hello Anne. I wanted to check in with you to make sure you had all of the information you wanted to obtain when you posted your question. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional clarification about anything.

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