How to deal with employee leaving for big competitor right before launch?


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An employee of ours has given notice and leaving for our largest competitor just days before we're about to launch our main product. Since we are a small team, she is critical to finishing it for launch. Finding someone on such short notice will be near impossible. What would you do?

Launch Employees

asked Feb 20 '14 at 23:50
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Wendell Scott
11 points
  • Any non-compete paperwork? – Jim Galley 6 years ago
  • A standard agreement we found online. It does have a non-compete clause but we don't have the legal resources to make any use of it. – Wendell Scott 6 years ago
  • It's probably too late to keep this employee, but there is probably something that you are or are not doing that pushed her away. Identify and resolve it before you have other key employees leaving. – Ed Griebel 6 years ago

1 Answer


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You can sue - or threaten to sue - based on what your non-compete clause says and what state your agreement is enforceable in. See Non-compete clause and determine whether the effort is worth the time / dollars. A lawyer is key here.

IF she has given notice the possibility or getting her to stay might be there - even though she likely has mentally moved on. After determining your legal rights (and discussing with counsel), you may want to notify her that she did sign a non-complete clause and that you intend on enforcing it.

answered Feb 24 '14 at 22:59
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Jim Galley
9,952 points
  • If you're at the point where you need to sue to keep her you've already lost. I would never work for a company that has a reputation of suing people who leave based on where they go to work. On the other hand, your biggest concern should be if this employee starts poaching employees. In this case a lawsuit is probably warranted. If this isn't in the employment contract then it should be in the exit paperwork she should sign. – Ed Griebel 6 years ago

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