Q: Need solicitation/compete contract advice for directly hiring photographer as an employee, not a contractor.
Inquiry is for a photography LLC business in Bakersfield, CA. I am only interested in these contracts during the time the employee is employed and not extending beyond their employment at all.
1. I want my company to have first dibs on posting the images taken on duty for X amount of time (ex: 1 month or so). I want to allow the photographer to post the images with my company watermark on their own social media/website after that time period, but stating something to the effect of it being work done with my company.
2. I do not want the photographer to solicit their photography to clients booked through my company during the shoot.
I am not asking the photographer to stop performing their own photography gigs outside of working hours. I just want to clearly state the expectations in a written contract that prevents poaching during my company's photo shoots while also allowing the photographer freedom to build their portfolio and pursue their own work.
A: Depending upon what state you are in ... and I will be assuming California ... any agreements with "employees" as to non-competition ... are unenforceable at law. However, you can restrict the employee's activity in other ways such as a carefully drafted non-disclosure, non-solicitation, non-circumvention agreements. The next step is for you to schedule at least two "free initial consultations" with attorneys of your choice ... by video call or telephone call ... let me know your thoughts ... thank you.
1 user found this answer helpful
While non-compete and non-solicitation of customer clauses are unlawful and therefore unenforceable in California related to activities of a former employee, there is nothing unlawful about restricting a present employee from doing anything that would be contrary to the interests of their employer while employed. In fact, a legal duty of loyalty exists that prohibits an employee from engaging in such activity while employed with the employer. Therefore what you seek to do is lawful, and fairly common.
Unfortunately, this site is meant for questions and answers and it is not a place where someone can ask attorneys to work for them or to respond with specific legal advice or provide legal documents. You will still have to locate and consult with one or more attorneys to determine whether you and they are a good fit, and engage with them to create the attorney-client relationship. To find an attorney I would suggest you look either elsewhere on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Good luck to you.
A: It may be that you are seeking an agreement relating to the confidentiality of trade secrets, a client/customer list can be a trade secret if handled properly. But truthfully, it sounds like you are trying to carry water in a sieve. You will have these photographers (using digital equipment I suppose so there are no film strips being processed and retained by you) with everything on highly portable and concealable chips. The cameras may even be set up to automatically transmit the images to computers or the internet websites of the photographers. The photographers will also be given the contact information for the customer/ client. Trying to extract that information once it is given or trying to restrict the use - from memory, as opposed to using an actual client list- will be very difficult, if not impossible. The best you can do is to have an attorney put together a trade secret/confidential information agreement for you. Mr. Pederson, above, seems to have a good handle on what you want, and you might contact him to work for you. As he said, this site is not for dispensing free legal information. Best of luck.
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