Think Tank Chef Perlee
Professor’s Instructions: Post your thoughts and views on the subject and respond to two of your fellow classmates’ postings as well. I would like to see you add value and offer original insightful posts in your answers. Additionally, when you respond to one of your classmate’s comments, focus in on something they commented that turns their argument upside down or offers further evidence and support for their argument. You can introduce articles, cite precedents distinguish this scenario from similar situations, and discuss policy. Do not just repeat the facts.
First argument to be commented:
Due to Chef Perlee’s actions to accept work in New Jersey, Hotel Lux may be able to hold Perlee liable to the contract. The contract meets all the elements of a legitimate offer and will, therefore, be interpreted as one. Based on the extensive public advertisements, it can be implied that Perlee had accepted Hotel Lux’s offer of employment. However, Perlee can be held to the non-compete component of the agreement if the terms were effectively communicated and if Perlee knew or should have known about the terms.
Noncompete agreements have been seen as controversial in some cases, however, they are generally legal and are used by roughly half of the private sector (Colvin and Shierholz, 2019) The contract states that Chef Perlee is to work for Hotel Lux as head chef for $6,000 a month. If for any reason Perlee leaves employment, he cannot work at any other hotel or restaurant in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania for a year. Generally, this agreement would be legal if it falls under a reasonable geographic scope and the period of time is not excessive. The interpretation of these factors varies on a state by state basis, and also on a case by case basis.
Under New York state law, where the contract was formed, “a non-compete is only allowed and enforceable to the extent it (1) is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests, (2) does not impose an undue hardship on the employee, (3) does not harm the public, and (4) is reasonable in the time period and geographic scope (Underwood, Pg. 1)”. Of course, this varies on a case by case basis. Like many head chefs, Perlee most likely has techniques exclusive to his style of cooking. Therefore, those trade secrets can be revealed if Perlee works in another restaurant. Hotel Lux must justify that these secrets would significantly and directly impact Hotel Lux’s legitimate interests as an employer. At the same time, it must balance the interests of Perlee as someone who is trying to make a living. If the contract prohibits Perlee from working in an entire sector or industry, then Hotel Lux cannot enforce it (Underwood, pg. 2).
Hotel Lux can enforce the contract if it meets all of these elements. However, this will largely depend on the interpretation of the state courts.
Colvin, A.J.S., and Shierholz, H. (2019 December 10). “Noncompete agreements.” Economic Policy Institute.
https://www.epi.org/publication/noncompete-agreements/ (Links to an external site.)
Underwood, B.D. (2018 September). “Non-Compete Agreements In New York State Frequently Asked Questions.” New York State Attorney General. Labor Bureau.
Second argument to be commented:
In my opinion, their contract is legal enforcement. First, Chef Perlee initially accepted the contract condition as he wouldn’t work in any restaurant or Hotel in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania for one year if he left Hotel Lux; and he also accepted the offeror’s ( Hotel Lux ) offer of 6000 per month. So both of them created agreement or promise. It belongs to a bilateral contract, a type of contract that arises when a guarantee is given in exchange for a return promise.
Second, Chef Perlee left Hotel Lux since he had disputed with the manager; and a month later, a famous restaurant in New Jersey hired him. Chef Perlee broke his promise with Hotel lux as he worked at a restaurant, which clearly stated in the contract. The contract between Chef Perlee and Hotel Lux is still valid as once the performance has been substantially undertaken, the offeror and offeree cannot revoke the offer. Voidable contract requirement: the party having the option can elect either to avoid any duty to perform or to ratify the contract. if the contract is avoided, both parties are released from it, or both parties must adequately perform their respective legal obligations. (Nature and Classification, 2019)
Obviously, None have them were released from the previous contract, terms of the promises made bound both parties, so Chef Perlee broke the deal, and I believe Hotel Lux can sue Chef Perlee for remedy.
Nature and Classification. (2019). In R. L. Miller, Business Law Today (p. 267). Texas: Cengage.