Is this retaliation?

I recently quit my job as a Director of Sales for a Technology company and never signed an NDA (Non-Compete Agreement). I took a position with a partner of my last employer (with the blessings of the President) and now find myself in what I believe is retaliation situation. He continues to threaten me with letters and phone calls about interfering with their existing customers and luring clients away. He even went as far as to send a copy of the letter from his attorney to the President of my new company. This letter was addressed to me, not the company I work for. None of the customers I have contacted have contracts with my previous employer nor had they done business with them while I was employed. He is claiming that my conduct is "illegal in California and exposes me to substantial monetary damages". If I have not signed an NDA of any kind and he has not worked with these clients why would his attorney threaten me this way. They are also asking me to return a 10,000 draw that I was given as an incentive to join the company. I was with the company for 8 months and no where in my offer letter does it say this is a recoverable draw nor did they ask for this money back while I was employed.

2 answers  |  asked Nov 29, 2005 12:28 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Richard J. Vaznaugh
Interference and Wage Violations`

I agree with Janet in general. I do not know how involved you want to get your present employer however. It seems that your options are to send them a letter to deter further conduct and/or bring a claim against them for damages.

In a situation like this I do charge for an initial consultation, albeit at a reduced rate. Please let me know if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Richard Vaznaugh, Esq.

posted by Richard J. Vaznaugh  |  Nov 30, 2005 5:51 PM [EST]
Janet M. Koehn
not retaliation but actionable

it is not retaliation. (retaliation for what? what protected conduct did you engage in?)
it is interference with contract and/or with prospective business advantage, and also may be defamation.
you need to contact an attorney experienced in employment law to prosecute these claims. also your new employer should support you in pursuing immediate remedies.
you can find an attorney in your area by going to the cal employment lawyers website (, or you can contact me if you wish to speak to an out-of-area attorney.
janet m. koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Nov 29, 2005 3:12 PM [EST]

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