Playing by the rules

Softchoice and En Pointe Technologies are waging a battle against one another as the two VARs compete for the best and brightest employees.

Softchoice added En Pointe to its lawsuits against former employees who went to En Pointe, alleging breach of non-compete clauses, removal of confidential information, and other disagreeable practices that employees unfortunately sometimes do. It seems the biggest thing Softchoice is upset about is that several of their employees jumped ship, and some of them encouraged co-workers to follow them to En Pointe. Now I'm not in a position to know, but I do have to wonder what was going on at Softchoice that so many people wanted to move over to the enemy camp?

En Pointe is fighting back with a lawsuit of its own, alleging that Softchoice is usng anti-competitive clauses in its employment contracts, which restricts peoples' ability to work. The lawsuits point to a much greater issue at hand in what is a highly competitive arena, and that is, should employees of VARs, integrators and other members of the channel have the right to go to work for the competition, or does the employer have the right to restrict what you do after you terminate your employment? Although the employer certainly does have some concerns there, I can also see the employee's point of view. It's been over 15 years since I was somebody's employee, but back then, the general wisdom was that if you didn't want to work for a particular company any more, if you want to stay in the same industry, there often aren't many other options other than working for a competitor.

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