We are a medium size company in Atlanta Ga. There is a larger company trying to hire all of our employees and pay them double what we are paying. They are doing this to try and run us out of business. Is there anything illegal about this? They are entering our stores and offering them double what they are making now. Thanks for any advise.
4 Answers from Attorneys
Is there anything illegal about another employer offering a better salary, or employees taking it, in the US? Of course not, in general (and there are very few exceptions that might apply to monopolies, contractual terms, etc.). You can try to ban their employees from your property, but that could just as easily backfire and won't likely stop it in the long run.
Not really. You could make an argument that the other company is tortiously interfering with your relations with your employees, but it is not likely at all to prevail in court. Offering competed wages are common practice even if the other employer is doing it with the intention of running you out of business.
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You presumably don't have employment contracts with your employees, so they are likely employees-at-will: They can leave anytime they want, and you can fire them anytime you want, except for prohibited grounds (e.g. race or sex discrimination).
You could endeavor to start having contracts with your employees, but you might have to offer them better terms than you are currently. You could then allege that a third party is interfering with your employee contractual relations, but currently it seems likely that you don't have any such relations to be interfered with.
It sounds like free competition for labor which is not under a contractual obligation to stay with you. One of your competitor's legitimate goals is to put you out of business, after all, as long as it doesn't engage in unfair business practices. Can you show that the competitor is acting deceptively, for instance, and doesn't honor the terms offered to your employees? Or that the competitor is engaging in a fraud? Or can you show it is acting out of spite, rather than a bona fide business motive (such as, taking your business by being competitively superior, by getting good employees)? If not, you have a hard case to establish a wrong against you.
The other postings are correct. You need make the call about whether it is worth the $$$ to try to get a restraining order against them. You never know; sometimes folks fold when confronted with legal action.
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