New law allows ban of solicitation of employees

Scott Thompson, an attorney with Lester, Loving & Davies, talks about what every business owner should know about upcoming changes to Oklahoma's non-solicitation law.
Oklahoman Modified: October 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm •  Published: October 24, 2013

Q&A with Scott Thompson

Q: How does Oklahoma law view noncompete and non-solicitation agreements as they relate to employees of a company?

A: In general, Oklahoma law prohibits restraints of trade unless specifically allowed by law. Oklahoma law disallows employee non-competes, but allows an employer to contractually restrict an employee from directly soliciting the established customers of the employer for a reasonable period of time after the employee leaves the company. Indirect solicitation like running ads, appearing at trade shows or responding to inquiries cannot be restricted.

Q: What issue was addressed in the last legislative session regarding employee non-solicitation agreements?

A: One area that wasn't clear was whether agreements restricting an employee from soliciting or hiring employees away from the company would be treated under the law. Some argued the general restraint of trade prohibition made them unenforceable; others argued that the law simply did not cover them.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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