Non-Compete Violation Investigations

Vigilance for your corporation

Keep your business in your business

A non-compete agreement is meant to protect trade secrets and prevents other companies from getting a leg-up in the competition. When a former employee steals your company’s trade secrets, it’s time to stand up.  Non-compete violation investigations are a prudent way to ensure your trade secrets are not at risk. From brand protection to theft of industry secrets, Lauth is dedicated to using diverse resources and due-diligence to fortify our clients with our non-compete investigations.  We investigate claims of non-compete violations for you so you can focus on growing your business and empower you with information to make crucial decisions.

When growing a business, executives and owners have to go the extra mile when it comes to protecting trade secrets. A common practice for corporations of all sizes is implementing non-compete clauses in their employees’ contracts. This ensures that a former employee cannot take trade secrets into a new business, or start a business of their own. It’s in a business owner’s best interest to be preemptive in protecting themselves from client poaching, theft of company secrets, and possibly even slander when it comes to a current or former employee who violates their non-compete agreement. Our applicable services for non-compete violations include but are not limited to:

  • Surveillance
  • Witness location
  • Fact-finding
  • Evidence-gathering
  • Independent testimony

How Lauth can help you with your non-compete investigation

Surveillance

Lauth uses the latest in surveillance technology to expose the unseen factors within any workplace. Our investigators have a wealth of experience in threat identification and risk assessment with regards to the safety of the workplace.

Background checks

Lauth uses verified databases to secure a comprehensive background report on the relevant Subjects in any non-compete violations case. Our investigators are trained to view a person’s criminal, financial, address, and litigation history to identify significant risk factors and provide expert recommendations for our clients and their businesses.

Undercover operations

Our investigators have the necessary tool chest to conduct objective, covert undercover operations within any organization, seeking the unseen factors in any workplace.

Evidence gathering

Combined with our surveillance technology to bring certainty to non-compete violations investigations, our investigators are highly trained in discreet evidence gathering to support their findings in the case.

Skip-traces

With the help of verified databases, Lauth’s skip-trace services allow investigators to locate Subjects and relevant parties in any non-compete violations investigation.

Why clients need our services

When a former employee takes your trade secrets to another business—or starts their own organization with a similar business model—the effect can be devastating to your company. There are many reasons why a former employee might do this, principally due to dissatisfaction under their former employer, and the desire to start their own business with little industry knowledge. By the time the former employer learns of the non-compete violation, the damage has been done.

Not every company fears a former employee will violate their non-compete agreement, and some companies do not see the need for a non-compete agreement at all. At worst, the consequences of a non-compete violation can end with a business closing and a former employer in serious debt. Even if a company is able to quash a non-compete violation in court, the cost to the company in legal fees can be astronomical, especially for smaller businesses. That’s why it’s important for owners and executives to be preemptive and proactive when it comes to potential violators. Luckily, a private investigator can help at all stages of a non-compete violation investigation.

When you need to find proof that a former employee has violated their non-compete agreement, you need an investigator who will turn over every rock. Diligent fact-finding is the cornerstone of any private investigator’s expertise. Private investigators can review a former employee’s non-compete agreement for exact specifications and begin a fact-finding mission that determines whether or not a violation has occurred. They can implement many of the strategies aforementioned: surveillance, interviewing witnesses, documenting evidence.

Should legal action arise as the result of a non-compete violation investigation, Lauth’s private investigators can also assist in the next phases of the process, namely as independent witness testimony. Cases involving a violation of a non-compete agreement, the narrative often has a divisive they-said, they-said narrative. This is where the independence of a private investigator becomes invaluable once more. When it comes down to the word of a former employer versus a former employee, the courts can find the testimony of an individual with no ties to either party more compelling. Any private investigator worth their salt is loyal only to the truth. True, they are paid for their services, typically by the former employer, but the conclusion of the investigation should always be based on fact, not fiction. Their independence coupled with their expertise and resume make them spectacular witnesses in any subsequent litigation.

When non-compete violations are at their ugliest, not only do violators seek to siphon off business from their former employer, but they can also play dirty by exposing this information publicly. Another method involves deliberately spreading lies about the competition in order to drive business towards the former employee’s company. That’s known as slander and it’s legally actionable. Documenting the perpetuation of these lies and proving they are in fact false are crucial in these cases. Private investigators can conduct cyber investigations to track down the users behind profiles that post false negative reviews, follow rumors back to their roots, and document malicious behavior.

Private investigators: A multi-tool for Human Resources

Human resource employees are the salt of the earth, and can have a great influence on how a company develops based on the individuals they select for their workforce. However, human resource employees are not lie detectors, and do not always have access to legitimate, comprehensive background screening tools. Background screenings and checks are among the most common service associated with private investigators. If there is something suspect in a candidate’s past, licensed private investigators have the tools and experience to find it out. Private investigators can pull a candidate’s criminal history, financial history, and interview persons in their lives who can speak to character and work ethic. They can also spot patterns in a person’s work history or lifestyle that could be high-risk factors in a hypothetical non-compete violation—things like transience, long periods between positions, or financial destitution.

Delegating a non-compete agreement violation to a human resources employee sounds like an efficient way to keep the investigation in-house, but this can have disastrous consequences for the employer. Human resources employers are internal investigators. In a non-compete agreement violation investigation, objectivity is key. Legal action taken by a corporation against a former employee has the optics of retaliatory litigation. When a private investigator conducts the investigation from beginning to end, there is an added layer of integrity and objectivity to the investigation. A private investigator does not have a direct or indirect stake in the outcome of the investigation, and therefore their perspective on the case will stand up to scrutiny in the courtroom.  

Relevant Case Study

Non-Compete Violation | Spastic Plastics

Non-Compete Violation | Spastic Plastics

Training and mentoring employees in your business can be a wonderful investment for your corporate future, but what happens when your mentee leaves the company, taking valuable clients and industry secrets with them?

read more

Relevant Blog Post

Investigating Non-Compete Violations

Investigating Non-Compete Violations

When growing a business, executives and owners have to go the extra mile when it comes to protecting trade secrets. In the pursuit of their company’s business, a common practice for corporations of all sizes is implementing non-compete clauses in their employees’ contracts. This ensures, should an employee leave the company for any reason, they cannot utilize trade secrets for the purpose of...

read more

Additional Resources

PInow.com

PInow.com

A Mini Guide to Corporate Investigations

Often corporate investigations are conducted to determine whether a company is safe or not to do business with. By conducting an in-depth analysis, companies are kept safe from:

    • Damaged reputation
    • Misuse or abuse of network and resources
    • Compromised customer information
    • Theft or loss or proprietary information
      READ MORE

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