RIM Vs Motorola: Talent Poaching and the Question of Ethics*

            


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Case Code : CLHR029
Publication date : 2009
Subject : HROB
Industry : -
Length : 03 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Business Ethics, ethics, Hiring, Poaching, Layoff, law, non-compete, non-disclosure, RIM, Motorola

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Abstract:
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Two of the leading manufacturers of high-end mobile phones, Motorola, Inc. (Motorola) and Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), had entered into an agreement in February 2008, whereby the two companies had agreed not to poach each other's employees. In September 2008, Motorola sued RIM and claimed for damages accusing the latter of poaching 40 of its employees in Florida. In December, RIM counter-sued Motorola accusing the company of illegally preventing it from hiring employees who had been fired from Motorola though the original agreement between the two companies had expired in August 2008. While experts are still divided on whether talent poaching is ethical, there has been a steep increase in employee poaching lawsuits across all sectors as employers are concerned with protecting their trade secrets.

Introduction

In December 2008, Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) sued Motorola Inc. (Motorola) for, what it called, illegally preventing it from hiring employees that Motorola had laid off. According to RIM, the two companies had entered into an agreement in February 2008 on not hiring each other's employees or the newly separated ex-employees. When Motorola announced lay offs in large numbers, RIM, attempted to hire and gain some engineers at a lower cost. RIM considered that the agreement had expired in August 2008 and prayed to the Chicago court for damages. RIM contended that despite the agreement having expired, Motorola had unlawfully extended the contract and prevented RIM from offering jobs to the fired Motorola employees.


RIM, well-known as the BlackBerry mobile phone maker, was established in Ontario, Canada, in 1984...

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