Business alleges ‘employee corporate raiding’

FONDA — A Montgomery County business has filed a lawsuit against a Massachusetts-based competitor W.B. Mason alleging “employee-corporate raiding.”

Hill & Markes filed the complaint in state Supreme Court on Nov. 18. The filing asks for monetary damages as well as an injunction and temporary restraining order.

“W.B. Mason took substantial efforts to raid the workforce of H&M while the former employees were still employed and being paid by H&M,” the filing alleges.

The suit additionally names six former employees, alleging they took corporate trade secrets and business information with them when they went to work for W.B. Mason. The suit alleges a breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, conversion and misappropriation of trade secrets.

The suit, which is based off an affidavit of H&M Chief Executive Officer Neal Packer, alleges that former employees misappropriated confidential information, sales data and proprietary pricing costs when they left for W.B. Mason.

“These trade secrets include, but are not limited to, the names of H&M’s customers, the products they purchase, the price and costs at which H&M purchases its products, applicable profit margins, names, positions, telephone numbers and email addresses of the key contact people for these customers, as well as each customer’s special needs, preferences, concerns and purchasing history, including vital pricing and profit margin information,” the filing states.

Hill & Markes states that the employees in question had signed confidentiality agreements when they began working for the company.

According to the filing, the employees in question left en masse on Nov. 4, but did not inform the company until Nov. 7, via a letter from an attorney. H&M alleges these employees also attempted to delete emails “evidencing their nefarious conduct.”

The suit states the employees in question represented a third of Hill & Markes Capital District business and half of their Hudson Valley business.

“H&M is currently the target of a corporate raid by W.B. Mason, which upon information and belief, has maliciously sought to poach six of H&M former sales employees,” the suit states.

Kerry Minor covers Gloversville. She can be reached at [email protected].

By Chad Fleck

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