An injunction is a court order that restrains a person or company from doing particular acts.  In the employment area an employer will sometimes commence an action against a former employee and their new employer, and within that action request an injunction to restrain the former employee and their new employer from using its “confidential information” or soliciting its customers and employees.  Occasionally the employer may also request an injunction to restrain the former employee from competing with it.

Injunctions however are not easily obtained and require more than demonstrating any misconduct by the former employee.  The Courts consider the “balance” of convenience” and “irreparable harm”, asking whether the employer could be adequately compensated by way of damages and whether the defendants could pay such damages.  (See My Cases: Finkelstein v. Starkman)

The injunction motion process can be very time consuming and expensive.  In complex cases injunction motions often involve affidavits with conflicting facts, expert testimony by way of affidavits, cross-examination on affidavits and motions to compel further information.  (See My Cases Guestlogix Inc.v. Hayter)

Injunctions come with a price however, and an employer that obtains an injunction will normally be required to undertake to pay damages to the defendants caused by the injunction if it turns out the employer is ultimately unsuccessful in its action.

It is critical that an employee departing to begin their own business or to join a competitor seek legal advice from an employment lawyer to understand their obligations to their employer and any risks that may be associated with their future plans.

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