Thursday, May 29, 2008, 11:42 AM

Have you looked at your customer non-solicitation provisions for your Georgia employees lately?

If it has been a while since you looked at the customer non-solicitation restrictive covenants signed by your Georgia employees, it's time to pull them out and give them a careful read. In Trujillo v. Great Southern Equipment Sales, LLC, 289 Ga. App. 474, 657 S.E.2d 581 (2008), the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that a customer non-solicitation covenant was overbroad and unenforceable because it prohibited an employee from soliciting customers "about whom Employee had confidential or proprietary information because of his/her position with Employer." This ruling has added some additional wrinkles to the already murky area of Georgia law addressing the level of "material contact" required between an employee and a customer in order for an employer to legally restrict the employee from soliciting the customer after the employee is no longer employed by the employer.

Companies trying to broaden their customer non-solicitation protection need to be aware of this recent decision. Worse yet, companies should be reminded that a void customer non-solicitation restrictive covenant will knock out an otherwise valid non-competition restrictive covenant in Georgia.

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