Blueline files suit against ex employee

US based BlueLine Rental has filed a law suit against a former branch manager for breaking confidentiality and non-compete clauses in her contract, after moving to Sunbelt Rentals and taking four other employees with her.

The suit against its former Scott City, Missouri, branch manager Dana Rowland has been filed in the Missouri Eastern District Court and claims she violated an employee confidentiality, non-solicitation and non competition agreement that she had signed as a sales representative in 2015. According to the company the agreement prevented her from soliciting BlueLine customers or employees for a least six months after termination of employment.

Rowland joined BlueLine as a sales representative in 2012 and was promoted to branch manager in May 2017. In the new role she managed eight employees and was responsible for managing the branch’s customer accounts and relationships. The company says that she had access to sensitive company information such as customer data, company financial information, pricing and vendor agreements.

It claims that in March of this year, she gave two weeks notice to the company, saying that she was leaving to help her husband start a new business. BlueLine alleges that she actually resigned specifically to take a job at Sunbelt Rentals. It also says that before it discovered the truth, it had wiped her company computer and phone, in order to pass it on to another employee and was therefore unable to check if she had violated company privacy/protection policies prior to her departure.

BlueLine also claims that shortly after leaving she recruited four key employees from the Scott City branch to join her at Sunbelt Rentals. The complaint states: "The departure of BlueLine’s four key employees at the Scott City Branch within the course of three days has crippled the Scott City Branch and its ability to serve its customers, resulting in substantial losses in sales."
Rowland has until the 29th of August to respond to the suit, before it moves to the next stage.