ex employee stealing accounts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by b121774, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. b121774

    b121774 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I had to fire my 5 year employed foreman back in August 2012 for theft from an account. He was having several personal issues prior to my knowledge of the theft that I had to discipline him for, which made it a little easier to let him go, but he was my main employee.

    Several months past and I heard nothing of him. Then back in late December/ early January, I started to mysteriously lose some accounts with no explanation. Comes to find out he started his own company and was maliciously going after my accounts. I immediately sent out letter's/email's to current and past customers telling them why he was terminated from my employ. I never wanted to tell anyone because I didn't want to slander him or let customer's I had placed a thief in their yard. i got several email's back from customer's I had not lost but said that he did approach them by actually coming to their house. He offered a lower rate and told lies why he was fired. It makes me sick!

    He posts on facebook gloating, posting pic's of some of the account's he stole and advertising pesticide application's which he is not licensed to apply. I have alerted the ag. dept. but I have no hope in them busting him.

    Anyone have any advice on how to handle this? I am absolutely fine in my business, a little hit when he took the accounts but not major. I know karma will bite him in the ass!
  2. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    There has to be some sort of law against that! Going to your customers and telling flat out lies are childish and slander if I'm not mistaken! Is he legal as far as licenses and insurance etc? Ask your attorney about it! See what kind of advise he can offer you!
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  3. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    This guy will take himself out of the running and screw any customer who wants him in the first place. JMO
  4. camshaft49

    camshaft49 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Brush him off keep doing what your doing and he'll slip up take shortcuts or promise something that he cannot deliver.which hopefully that will send previous customers and new ones back to you
  5. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    I think guy will fail regardless and you shouldn't waste anymore time on the issue. You contacted your customers and that should be enough. You don't want to take it too far and make it sketchy/potentially dangerous for you or your family. Sometimes it's just best to let it die with no further drama.
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  6. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 908

    make all employees sign a non compete agreement , day 1!
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  7. magicmike

    magicmike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    I am in a business law class (first semester so dont quote me on any of this). But if I understood what my professor was saying correctly... If you have a contract (service agreement) with your customers that you lost, and this was within that contract, you can sue for breaking up an existing contract (its called something else but I cant think of the name). I am not 100% sure that this applies to small landscaping contracts his example was a major home improvement contract but you should talk to an attorney in your area if this is affecting your business. I think you can take legal actions as long as you have a valid contract or agreement.

    Good Luck, and having an employee sign a no compete clause in there employment contract seems like a good idea, but i dont know if that is legal.
  8. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,476

    I agree with this. And if he is really as bad a person as you say, i bet you will be seeing those customers back again.

  9. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,476

    trugreen did it, i signed a few with them. In fact, the first time i went into business i didn't even bother getting into fert and squirt until that non-compete was up. I think something happend with trugreen and a non-compete and some kinda lawsuit at some point, they might not even do them anymore. it might be worth a google. :laugh:

  10. NIXRAY

    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    Here in Mi non compete are legal and should be used more often
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