Virginia Court Denies Guardian's Motion to Dismiss in Non-Competition Case
June 27, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

The Eastern Division District Court of Virginia has denied Guardian Auto Glass’ motion to dismiss in a suit filed by Glass America over a non-competition agreement. The court did approve a motion to stay while a legal battle is fought in Michigan.

Robert Staples signed an “Invention, Disclosure, Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreement” with Guardian Auto Glass in November of 2010. According to Staples’ petition for declaratory judgment, he “left Guardian Glass because he became increasingly uncomfortable with certain practices of the respondent which he believed to be unethical and possibly unlawful.”

Staples later accepted employment at a Glass America location in Fairfax, Va., which is within a 100 mile radius of the Guardian location where he was employed. Staples and Glass America received a letter from Guardian’s attorney requesting “enforcement of the provisions of the non-competition agreement” and warning of impending legal action in Michigan.

Staples says that the agreement prohibited him from employment in any capacity with a competitor, even in a position like a cleaner or janitor. He claims that there is no effort to determine whether the prohibited activity is the same type of work as that done for the former employer. Glass America also filed a similar petition backing Staples’ claims.

Guardian requested that the Virginia court dismiss Staples’ complaint because the Michigan court already has jurisdiction over the issue. While the court denied the motion to dismiss they have agreed to stay the case while the Michigan case progresses.

A status conference in the case is scheduled for September 14.

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