Monday, October 20, 2008

Texas Occupation Code Part 2

In a previous posting we discussed placement professionals' obligations under Chapter 2501 of the Texas Occupations Code. There is only one reported case addressing this provision. In Joseph Chris Personnel Services, Inc. v. Donna Rossi, et al., Joseph Chris, a real estate recruiter, sued former employees for alleged breach of employment contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the Texas Occupations Code. Essentially, Joseph Chris claimed the Defendant employees started a competing recruiting company by taking information from the Joseph Chris database among other things. The Defendants did not reside in Texas.

Joseph Chris' occupations code claim was based on the provision that provides an employee of a personnel services company "may not disclose information about an applicant, an employer, and employment position, or the operation of the personnel service." The Court did not reach the merits of the claim because it ruled that the Texas Occupations Code did not apply to these non-Texas employees. There is no reported case that we are aware of, where a Plaintiff has alleged and a court has actually addressed whether a job candidate's service file as defined within the occupations code as trade secret under Texas criminal law would qualify as a trade secret under the standards set forth by the Texas Supreme Court and discussed in the October 6th entry.