Firm Files Suit Over Low Wage, Security Guard Non-Compete

Continuing its fight against companies abusing non-compete agreements, Pollard PLLC has filed suit against Critical Intervention Services, Inc. (“CIS).  CIS is a private security company based in Largo, Florida.  CIS provides protection and investigative services to businesses, governments and individuals.

Like many others who work at CIS, Michael Kenny is a military veteran. Kenny worked at CIS for a total of thirteen (13) days.  The first seven days were spent in mandatory, state-required courses. One day was spent in orientation. Two days were spent on in-house training.  And three days were spent working actual shifts. Putting aside mandatory, state-required training that exists throughout the industry, Kenny spent less than one week working at CIS. He spent that week on street patrol in various neighborhoods.

Kenny resigned from CIS after that week. As a single father, his work schedule did not allow him to care for his daughter. He quickly found work with another company, Securitas, as a bank security guard. It is hard to imagine how Kenny’s work as a bank security guard constituted unfair competition or threatened any harm to CIS. But CIS sent a letter to Kenny’s new employer. CIS claimed that Kenny had an non-comepte agreement and that if Securitas did not fire him immediately, CIS would bring legal action.  As a result, Kenny lost his job.

The firm maintains that CIS has a history of filing and threatening lawsuits over unenforceable, illegal non-compete agreements. The situation is particularly abusive given that Kenny worked at CIS for less than two weeks. In light of these facts, Pollard PLLC has filed a lawsuit against CIS for (1) a declaratory judgment holding the non-compete agreement unenforceable and (2) tortious interference. The firm maintains that the non-compete at issue is not supported by any legitimate business interest. Rather than recognizing the error of its ways, CIS chose to escalate matters: CIS has filed a counter-suit against Kenny and is seeking $50,000 in liquidated damages for his alleged violation of the non-compete agreement.  Firm principal Jonathan Pollard offered the following remarks:

“Once again, this is a prime example of a big company abusing a non-compete agreement. There is no legitimate business interest here. I don’t care if they’ve won these cases in the past. You have a man who is working as a security guard. There’s no confidential information. He’s not interfering with any substantial customer relationships. There’s no extraordinary training. He’s just trying to make a living and take care of his family. My colleagues and I are 100% committed to pursuing this case until the very end and seeing justice done.”

To add insult to injury, shortly after causing Kenny to lose his new job, Kenny learned that CIS had sent him to a debt collector. Apparently, CIS maintains that Kenny owes them approximately $200 as reimbursement for certain training expenses.  In addition to Pollard, the team on the case consists of Alex Gil, Chris Prater and Deaken Shuler.

Pollard PLLC is a litigation boutique based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and focused on competition law. The firm and its attorneys have extensive experience litigating complex non-compete, trade secret, trademark, antitrust and other competition claims. For more information, please call their office at 954-332-2380.

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