Protecting trade secrets and important company information is common practice for Connecticut businesses, and most use non-compete agreements with their employees. These agreements typically prohibit workers from being hired by competitors of their former employers, although some might go on to work for competitors in positions of a different scope. Retailer giant Walmart says that one of its former executives is violating her non-compete agreement by considering a position with Amazon, one of its biggest competitors. In cases such as this, litigation is often necessary.

In Jan. 2018, former Walmart senior vice president and chief tax officer Lisa Wadlin told the company that she would likely retire. She did not disclose that this decision was related to her move to Amazon. Walmart only learned of her intentions on May 15 of this year, when it sent her a copy of her separation agreement. Wadlin apparently never signed the agreement.

Walmart claims her failure to sign the agreement does not preclude her from adhering to the company’s non-compete agreement. When hired, senior executes at the company forfeit their right to work for competitors that have annual revenues of more than $7 billion. This non-compete restriction applies for two years.

The issue is now going through the court system, with Walmart claiming that Wadlin has non-public company information that would harm its bottom line if she were to work for Amazon. Wadlin has not accepted a position with Amazon yet. Although most business owners in Connecticut would probably like to avoid litigation, it is sometimes necessary to protect important information, future plans and trade secrets.