ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Employer Alleges that GPS Caught Employee Breaching Contract

Cell phones make a lot of things easier, but cheating on your spouse or your employer simply is not one of them.  Case in point: a story posted at (a website affilliated with the Houston Chronicle). Apparently, a local resident, Kevin Wendt, is being sued by his former employer, Brant Electrical, for claims of breach of contract, theft and misappropriation of trade secrets.  According to the website, Brant Electrical alleges that Wendt was working "behind the company's back for a potential client.”  How did Brant Electrical find this out?  Apparently the company discovered Wendt's activities by tracking the GPS on his company cell phone.  If the allegations are true, Wendt would be in violation of a confidentiality and non-compete agreement.  According to the story:

[Brant] claims that on Aug. 10, 2010, customer Chris Williams called the company and requested that worker Charles Reisner visit his property for an estimate, but since he was away, they sent Wendt instead.

They claim that when Wendt returned, he mentioned to several employees that the job Reisner wanted done would be good for his new company, Wendt Electric. Wendt called in sick to work the next few days, but through some clever detection, his bosses claim they used GPS tracking on Wendt's company cell phone to discover that he was really working at William's property under his own company. Execs of the company allegedly found him there and fired him on the spot.

[Brant] claim[s that] they found evidence that Wendt never submitted a bid from their company, and that Wendt used confidential information to solicit the client.

Wow!  With GPS tracking, why bother to post your status to Facebook: “Just scored awesome new client away from my employer…”?

[Meredith R. Miller]

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