Employment Law
As business owners and employers, you have enough responsibilities. Why let employment laws and regulations drag you down? The skilled attorneys at Joseph Hollander & Craft LLC will help you develop effective employment policies and procedures and give you the tools to implement them. We understand the delicate manner required to address employee grievances and maintain order. We know how to defend you when a disgruntled employee files a complaint with an administrative agency or a court.

No business wants to be the target of an administrative agency’s investigation, but, when an agency comes knocking, that business must know its rights. We know your rights and are prepared to fight relentlessly for you. Our attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of employers against claims pending before various agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Kansas Human Rights Commission, and the Department of Labor.

We want your business to be successful and profitable. Don’t get sidelined trying to navigate the host of employment laws and regulations targeted at business owners and employers. Call the attorneys of Joseph Hollander & Craft LLC. We stand ready to answer your human resource questions, investigate employee complaints, and vigorously defend your business.

Our Kansas Employment Law Attorneys

Ross A. Hollander

Wichita Employment Law Attorney
Employment litigation dominates Mr. Hollander’s practice, but his extensive litigation experience also includes general civil, commercial, and bankruptcy practice. His employment litigation practice focuses on management employment law, while contract and covenant law dominate his civil litigation practice.

Michelle Moe Witte

Wichita Employment Law Attorney
Ms. Witte is a trial lawyer with an emphasis in labor and employment law and general civil litigation. Much of her practice is devoted to defending employers charged with discriminating on the basis of age, gender, race, disability, or religion under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Ms. Malotte’s practice is concentrated in civil litigation with an emphasis on employment law. Ms. Malotte is admitted to practice before the Kansas Supreme Court, all other Kansas courts and the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Non-competition Agreements
In Kansas, a non-compete will be determined unenforceable if it does not protect an employer’s legitimate business interests. Employers risk their non-compete agreements being found unenforceable by broadly defining their legitimate business interests. Employers should spend time evaluating their current non-compete agreements to be sure the agreements protect their legitimate business interests but are not so overreaching that they risk being determined unenforceable.

Broadly drafted non-compete agreements designed to prevent ordinary competition are not enforceable. A well drafted non-compete agreement should protect against a competitor gaining an unfair advantage through hiring a former employee. The unfair competitive advantage comes from access to protected information, including trade secrets or other commercially sensitive information pertaining to the employer’s business practices. Trade secrets are defined by the Kansas Uniformed Trade Secret Act as any “information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (I) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.” K.S.A. § 60 3320(4). Commercially sensitive information includes customer contacts, customer relationships, referral sources, and the reputation and goodwill that a company has spent time and resources developing. Training, however, likely is not a legitimate business interest. An employee’s training must be determined to be unique and out of the ordinary to be classified as a legitimate business interest. Moreover, if the training is minimal and is the only allegedly protectable interest the employer relies on, a non-compete agreement will likely be found unenforceable.

Non-compete agreements are important tools in maintaining a company’s competitive advantage. Effective non-compete agreements honestly identify an employer’s legitimate business interests and no more. Non-compete agreements that push the boundaries of information identified as a legitimate business interest will likely be challenged. And employers who use such agreements risk losing the effectiveness of the agreement in maintaining a competitive advantage.