Brief Fact Summary. Defendant is a sportscaster who was employed by Plaintiff. Defendant negotiated with another employer during the negotiation period and accepted an offer from them.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Injunctive relief is not appropriate for employment contracts that have expired. Only a negative injunctive is appropriate for employment contracts that have not expired.
Once the term of an employment agreement has expired, the general public policy favoring robust and uninhibited competition should not give way merely because a particular employer wishes to insulate himself from competition.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Should Plaintiff get injunctive relief?
Defendant did not violate the contract to offer Plaintiff the right of first refusal, because he accepted CBS’s before that period of time began.
Throughout history, courts have been loath to enforce contracts for personal service with injunctive relief. After the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment prevented forced servitude.
The alternative would be a negative injunction, not one that would force Defendant to work for plaintiff, but one that would keep him from working for anyone else. That avenue is closed to Plaintiff because Defendant’s contract has already terminated.
Dissent. Defendant breached the contract to negotiate in good faith. The majority’s contention that Defendant did not violate the contract to offer Plaintiff the right of first refusal makes the contract meaningless as does the court’s refusal to enforce it.
Discussion. Injunctive relief is only available negatively for contracts for personal service and then, only before the contract expires.