An employee fired for refusing to sign a new non-compete agreement may be sued for failing to comply with a previous agreement, which was still in force, a federal appeals court said Monday when overturning a lower court ruling.
Lynn Barty, who began working as a regional account manager for Travelex Insurance Services Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska-based travel insurance services distribution company, in 2008, reportedly signed a confidentiality and non-surveillance agreement at the time, according to Monday's ruling of 8: e USA Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis i Travelex Insurance Services Inc. v. Lynn Barty .
In 2016, Travelex was acquired by Sydney, Australia-based Cover-More Group and Ms Barty asked to sign a new confidentiality and unsupervised agreement as a condition of continued employment. She refused and quit.
She then started working for a Travelex competitor and alleged conduct that violated the 2008 agreement, according to the decision.
Travelex filed a judgment in the U.S. District Court in Omaha against Ms Barty, in her favor, stating that the 2008 agreement was terminated because it "lacked reciprocity in the obligation" when Travelex terminated Ms Barty for refusing to sign. the new agreement on unsupervised.
The verdict was overturned by a three-judge appellate court panel. "We do not agree that the acquisition of Cover-More and the requirement that Barty sign a new agreement in 201
"The parties did not reach a new agreement in 2016, so there was no new contract that could have replaced a previous agreement. That Travelex terminated Barty when she decided not to sign a new non-call agreement did not eliminate the" reciprocity of the obligation "on which the 2008 agreement rested," the verdict said, reversing the decision of the Court of First Instance and withdrawing the case for further proceedings.
Attorneys in the case had no comment or could not be reached.
In June, a Pennsylvania state court granted USI Insurance Services LLC $ 1.1 million in lawsuits over a former employee's alleged failure to respect his non-compete agreement, in a decision that focused on the broker's handwriting.