WINFIELD – A Putnam County-based technology company is suing one of its former employees for allegedly violating the terms of a non-competition agreement.

Advanced Technical Solutions LLC, of Scott Depot, filed a breach of contract suit July 20 against Thomas A. Joyce in Putnam County Circuit Court. In its complaint, ATS alleges Joyce, of Hurricane, led them to believe he would be leaving the area to work for another job when he left to go work for a local rival.

According to the suit, Joyce came to work at ATS on Nov. 21, 2005, as an IT technician engineer. As a condition of employment, ATS had Joyce sign two non-competition agreements, and one confidentiality agreement.

The non-competition agreements –- which are attached to the suit as exhibits –- stipulated that Joyce not work for an ATS competitor within a year of leaving ATS, and for one not within a 50-mile radius of Scott Depot.

In signing the confidentiality agreement, Joyce agreed not to "disclose to others any trade secrets, confidential information, or any other confidential or sensitive date of the employer."

On May 19, Joyce gave ATS notice of his resignation from the company effective June 2, the suit says. Though he refused to say where he would be going, ATS alleges Joyce told management that "he would not be working within 50 miles of ATS."

On a date not specified, ATS alleges it learned that Joyce was working for Alpha Technologies in Hurricane. Alpha is located less than 2 miles from ATS.

Upon learning Joyce was working for Alpha, ATS sent him a letter on June 28 asking him to "cease all activities" in breach of both the non-compete agreements and the non-disclosure agreement.

In a letter dated July 6, Joyce denied he was in violation of any of the agreements.

ATS alleges that since leaving their employ "Joyce has the opportunity and has used his knowledge of ATS' customers and ATS' proprietary information including technical information regarding products and services and pricing in his employment with Alpha Technologies."

Along with unspecified damages, ATS seeks an injunction enforcing the non-competition agreement and soliciting any business from ATS' clients for a year.

It is represented by Kenneth E. Webb Jr. and Elizabeth D. Walker with the Charleston law firm of Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff and Love.

The case is assigned to Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court, case number 10-C-240




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