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May 19, 2017
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Tesla says in a lawsuit that electric vehicle startup Rivian poached employees and stole confidential information. The suit says Rivian’s team includes 178 ex-Tesla employees, 70 of whom came directly from Tesla. Tesla says in the suit that four former Tesla employees are responsible for taking confidential information to Rivian – Tami Pascale, Kim Wong, Jessica...
[WPURI="https://teslamotorsclub.com/blog/2020/07/23/tesla-accuses-rivian-of-poaching-employees-stealing-trade-secrets/"]READ FULL ARTICLE[/WPURI]
 

Bill Price

Member
Sep 23, 2018
474
557
Indianapolis
Maybe it's just me? But if you had key employees with proprietary information working for you and you knew there were competitors trying to woo them, wouldn't you have them sign a non-compete clause?
 

msm859

Member
Oct 23, 2019
343
451
California
No, Tesla has non-competes. I’m not sure when these people left Tesla but they could fall outside the non-compete. Non-competes are often meaningless to be honest. There’s many loop holes usually.
Not true. As long as they are reasonable in scope and time they are perfectly legal and binding.
 

oncedrunk

New Member
Jul 24, 2020
2
0
Naples
A non compete would stop someone from working for a competitor but has nothing to do with disclosure of trade secrets. Non competes are marginally enforceable as courts will lean towards allowing former employees to make a living. Non competes also have to be limited to a certain geographic area.

Tesla may also have non disclosure agreements with key development staff regarding trade secrets.

Non competes and non disclosures are enforceable against the former employees.

Aside from than Tesla may sue competitors who target their employees for hire or encourage them to share trade secrets. There can potentially be industrial espionage criminal charges.
 

oncedrunk

New Member
Jul 24, 2020
2
0
Naples
A non compete would stop someone from working for a competitor but has nothing to do with disclosure of trade secrets. Non competes are marginally enforceable as courts will lean towards allowing former employees to make a living. Non competes also have to be limited to a certain geographic area.

Tesla may also have non disclosure agreements with key development staff regarding trade secrets.

Non competes and non disclosures are enforceable against the former employees.

Aside from than Tesla may sue competitors who target their employees for hire or encourage them to share trade secrets. There can potentially be industrial espionage criminal charges.

Anything Tesla does will not get the secrets back but will only discourage other employees to do the same. You cannot unring a bell.
 

ApyoPrez

New Member
Jul 20, 2020
1
3
Atlanta
Tesla says in a lawsuit that electric vehicle startup Rivian poached employees and stole confidential information. The suit says Rivian’s team includes 178 ex-Tesla employees, 70 of whom came directly from Tesla. Tesla says in the suit that four former Tesla employees are responsible for taking confidential information to Rivian – Tami Pascale, Kim Wong, Jessica...

First let me preference that It's not right to steal anything including confidential information. It's also a slippery slope because I am a ex-employee of Tesla and other tech companies and over the past few years Tesla has a documented history of downsizing staff to make it's numbers.
If there are skills and best practices that you learned and developed over time and bought those to Tesla then you are doing the same thing and Tesla wins. It is also your responsibility to perform the duties of your role to the best of your abilities, whoever your employer might be.

Once again a NDA has a place, but you cannot deny a person from making a living regardless where those skills were developed or gained.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jjmboni

Member
May 22, 2019
26
21
Scappoose, OR
Here's a good example of a loophole in Oregon:
Other existing limitations under ORS 653.295 include the following: The longest enforceable period of a noncompetition agreement under ORS 653.295 is 18 months from the date of separation, and a noncompetition agreement is enforceable only against (1) employees exempt from minimum wage and overtime under Oregon law (e.g., managerial, executive, salaried employees); (2) employees who have access to a “protectable interest” of the employer (e.g., access to trade secrets or competitively sensitive commercial information); and (3) employees whose annual salary and commissions, at the time of their separation, exceed the median income for a family of four, as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
I used that to get out of the ridiculous non compete my contracting company made me sign and tried to use against me when I went to another contracting company (that paid better).

If California has a similar law, and if the Tesla employees were not compensated well enough, then they may be able to get out of non-compete at least. I'll bet Tesla isn't only going to use non-competes though. They'll probably try for theft of trade secrets or something like that.
 

RichNot

Member
Jan 4, 2020
26
8
Huntersville, North Carolina
Courts have been reluctant to enforce non-compete agreements against individual former employees, because the former employee would be unable to pursue a career using the knowledge and skills they gained in previous jobs. Otherwise, you have large companies with vast resources trying to block an individual person from having a career based on their working experience. But I do think Tesla could prevent them from sharing trade secretes and patented processes.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,373
3,361
Phoenix, AZ
This lawsuit is a clear indication that Musk is terrified of Rivian. And he should be. Nothing Musk or Tesla can do will derail Rivian from its mission, especially with the billions it has received from Amazon, Ford, and others. This company is doing things much better than Tesla, which no other vehicle manufacturer wants to invest in or do business with.

Cybertruck is for the Tesla fanboys. Rivian is for real people, who do real work, and need a real truck.
 

Zorg

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,406
1,235
Fremont, ca
I thought that non competes are unenforceable in CA, which is why people move around so freely between tech companies. Obviously, stealing trade secrets is still a crime.
 

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