California Court of Appeal Extends Wrongful Termination Cause of Action

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A California Court of Appeal has recently held that a subsequent employer can be liable for wrongful termination in violation of public policy for firing a new employee when her prior employer attempted to enforce an unenforceable non-compete agreement.

The case, Silguero v. Creteguard, Inc., Case No. B215179, represents an expansion of an employee's right to sue for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. In this case, a sales employee signed a non-compete agreement with her previous employer which purportedly prohibited her from working for a competitor for 18 months post- termination. The employee ultimately was fired, and a few months later, found employment with Creteguard, Inc., a competitor of her former employer. After her hire, her previous employer contacted Creteguard and informed it of the employee's agreement not to compete for a period of 18 months.

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