Silguero v. Creteguard, Inc., 187 Cal. App. 4th 60 (2010)

Shortly after Creteguard hired Rosemary Silguero, her former employer (FST) contacted Creteguard and “requested the cooperation and participation of [Creteguard] in enforcing the confidentiality agreement [between Silguero and FST], including those provisions prohibiting Silguero from all sales activities for 18 months following Silguero’s departure or termination from FST.” In response to the letter from FST, Creteguard terminated Silguero’s employment even though “we believe that non-compete clauses are not legally enforceable here in California.” In her lawsuit against Creteguard, Silguero alleged the non-compete that Creteguard enforced violated Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 16600 and that her termination, therefore, violated the public policy of the State of California. The trial court sustained Creteguard’s demurrer to the complaint, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Creteguard’s decision to honor an unenforceable non-compete violated the public policy of California as expressed in Section 16600.