JUDGE SIDES WITH LANGSTON IN VERIZON TRADE SECRETS CASE (UPDATED)

Roby Brock files an extended report on this story, which is linked below. In summary:

U.S. District Judge James Moody sided with former Alltel and former Verizon executive Lewis Langston, who now serves as CIO of Allied Wireless Communications, in a case brought by Verizon seeking an injunction order against his employment.

This is just a raw nerve with me. It is so typical in radio that so-called management comes to believe that they own employees in the same way that plantation owners of the 19th. century owned slaves. They destroy the opportunities which have been rightfully earned. Those are hard fought chances for economic betterment. The kind of tactic employed by Verizon is a form of economic murder.

We don’t mind firing people for any kind of whim and so-called non-compete agreements can be used to threaten less sophisticated people who just don’t know any better. That type of strategy is also used to constrain market competition by keeping talent tied up and unable to work if they should quit.

I am reliably informed that, once upon a time (and it may continue today) Clear Channel had a clause in the pile of papers they put in front of people when they take a job that says the employee will not go to work for somebody else in the market AND that the employee does not depend on the radio job to make a living.

I ain’t making this up.

This I can say because it has been litigated and subject to state laws. It was at one time a Citadel practice to place in the non-compete clause that the employee of a local station could not go to work for the competitor of any Clear Channel station in any market. I don’t think they do that any more.

Just so you know, I never signed a non-compete at Snider of Citadel when either owned KARN. I did sign a non-compete at Signal Media, but there has never been any conflict over that agreement. ” Signal was very fair about that.

It is, however, true that broadcasters sometimes LIE about whether or not an air talent is under contract.

This time of year I think of my friend Bob Harrison, who died on December 22, 2005. His problems started with a radio non-compete. It was a contract he had no idea was ever entered into. Yep, Bobby should have been smarter.

Human beings need to work and they ought to be permitted to work in their accustomed professions with a little bit of dignity. Again, it you take away somebody’s right to work, you have as good as murdered them.

There I go! It’s not that I am taking up for some Allied fat cat. They guy in this case is probably sitting on a ton of dough. (Heck, people THINK I’m sitting on a ton of dough! All I’ve got is a ton of bills and I’d really like to find a second part-time job.) It’s the principle of the thing. Businesses do not OWN the human beings that keep them going. We got past that in 1865.

Our business decisions have actual consequences on the lives of other people. We are our brother’s keeper.

There, I feel a little better. Take time to appreciate your family and friends. Cherish every single one and every breath you take. Merry Christmas.

JUDGE SIDES WITH LANGSTON IN VERIZON TRADE SECRETS CASE (UPDATED).

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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