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McLaughlin & Stern Secure Court Order Compelling Arbitration of Non-Compete Dispute in Employer-Employee Litigation

Thu 12 August 2021 News & Press

Companies often include mandatory arbitration clauses in their employment contracts. Requiring arbitration of employment-related disputes can help mitigate the costs of dispute resolution, and it can also help avoid publicity of claims filed both by and against the company’s employees. As a result, companies will often seek to compel enforcement of the arbitration clauses in their employment agreements when their employees try to take claims to court.

However, there are some circumstances in which going to arbitration may not be in a company’s best interests. This could be the case, for example, if the company believes a former employee is violating the terms of the parties’ non-compete. In this scenario, the company may wish to seek immediate injunctive relief in court rather than going through the arbitration process.

This is precisely what happened in a case our firm is currently handling on behalf of a former employee of a health care marketing company.

About the Case: Idoc Holdings Inc. v. Mark Goethals

On July 9, 2021, Judge Beth Bloom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the firm’s motion to compel arbitration in an employment contract dispute over the enforceability of a non-compete clause. The firm’s client, a former employee of a health care marketing company, was sued in federal court for an alleged violation of the non-compete provision in his employment agreement with the plaintiff.

In its lawsuit, the plaintiff sought, among other remedies, a preliminary injunction to enjoin the firm’s client from continuing to work in his new employment. The plaintiff also argued that its injunction claims should not be subject to mandatory arbitration under the parties’ employment agreement. Judge Bloom ruled, however, that all of the plaintiff’s asserted claims were covered by the arbitration clause in the parties’ contract. As a result, on the firm’s motion, Judge Bloom ordered the parties to proceed in arbitration and denied the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction accordingly.

This is an important victory for the firm’s client, as it affords him the opportunity to defend against his former employer’s allegations without being subject to a court-ordered preliminary junction. The plaintiff must now pursue its claims in arbitration, and the firm’s client now has the opportunity to fully assert his defenses in accordance with the terms of his employment contract.

Speak with an Employment Litigation Attorney at McLaughlin & Stern

McLaughlin & Stern’s employment litigation attorneys represent both employees and employers in disputes arising out of contract disputes and other matters. If you have questions and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to call 212-448-1100 or contact us online to arrange a confidential consultation.