Legal Question in Business Law in Maryland

I hired a company about 7 months ago to walk my dog at the time and help her get used to the walker so when I got my puppy she would be ok. I love the girl! Everything went very well until I had to find substitutes if the girl was away. The owner of the company had a difficult time keeping track of my schedule even with repeated emails. One day recently the owner gave my regular walker the day off and forgot to walk my new puppy. I was furious. The regular walker resigned because of ongoing issues with the owner unrelated to me. The walker had signed a contract where she agreed if she left she would not take customers. I approached the walker to continue walking my dogs privately and she agreed. Now the owner has informed her if she finds out she is communicating with any clients she will sue her. I certainly don't want her in trouble but I quit using her company because of the issues. Does the owner have a case?!

Asked on 9/24/13, 10:04 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

It depends on the terms of any contract between the Company and its employee. If the employee agreed to a non-compete contract and the Employer gave valid consideration for her promises, yes, this could be enforceable. However the law does impose some limits on these types of agreements.

An attorney cannot adequately analyze without looking at the contract itself.

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Answered on 9/24/13, 10:09 am

Thomas Valkenet Young & Valkenet

The walker may, or may not have a non-compete clause in her contract. But whether it is enforceable is a different analysis. You are free to hire anyone, including the girl. But she remains at risk for a damage claim brought by her former employer.

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Answered on 9/24/13, 10:41 am

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