question on leaving a grooming shop.

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming Forum' started by Presents, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Presents

    Presents New Member

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    I have been grooming in this shop for 2 years. I have a decent amount of "request dogs" that i do regularly.

    when i submitted my two week notice, i was told that i could not tell any of my "request dogs" that I would be leaving or where i would be going or i could be in serious legal trouble.

    I don't want to burn bridges, but I feel i worked hard to get my clients, I love my dogs (well, there/your dogs) and not only is this unfair to me and what i think is just bs, but also unfair to the pets and owners.

    am I wrong in wanting to tell them, I should i just leave quietly?

    thanks.
     
  2. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    I don't know how that could be legally wrong unless you signed something. Maybe you could give them a call after you've left to let them know. I know that a good groomer is probably like a good hair stylist and people definitely follow them around!
     
  3. cowgurl6254

    cowgurl6254 Herding dogs rock!!!

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    I would find a way to let them know. You've worked hard to keep their business and you have become friends with their pets. Unless their is something in writing, I really don't see how you could get in legal trouble. Wait to contact them until after you quit. Then I don't think your boss could do anything. :)
     
  4. LabBreeder

    LabBreeder Guest

    I think if you brought them in and they want you to groom them then you should be able to tell them. If you signed something saying you would never "take a client with you" then I guess you can't out right tell them, but you could have a friend contact them for you. Kind of a 3rd party middle man deal. :)
     
  5. mybostonterrier

    mybostonterrier New Member

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    tell your boss to stick it in him, u worked hard and you earned the clients!
     
  6. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    I also don't think you can get in legal trouble but be careful and make sure you didn't sign anything at all that restricts your ability to do so. Sometimes something can sneak in with the small print that you didn't even notice.

    If you are sure there is nothing you might want to see if there is a way you can get their names & phone #'s and/or addresses and then after you leave you can either give them a call or drop them a post card letting them know where you are. That way you aren't putting them on the spot with a face-to-face if they feel loyal to the shop you are leaving. If it is your grooming that is the draw and your new location is within a reasonable distance I'm sure they'll follow you. I know my groomer used to be less than 10 minutes from my house and now I travel almost an hr. one way to bring my dogs to him.:)
     
  7. KellyB

    KellyB New Member

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    Ok. You could only get in legal trouble if you signed a non-competition clause or a clause proisming not to take clients with you when you leave. If you did sign something to this effect, you could get in real trouble even if you contact them after you leave. So first off I would say to find out if your employment contract had this kind of language in it (if you're not sure you can PM me and I will try and help, I have a legal background).

    Next thing is that generally, non-competition clauses that essentially prevent you from working in that particular field in the geographic area by limiting who you can contact, etc are most likely invalid as a matter of law.

    I would say that ultimately, the client has the option to come to you. You cannot be punished if they independently decide to move with you. The problem is that you must be careful about how you get in contact with those people if there is a non-competition clause in your employment contract. If you do have one, maybe take out an ad in the paper or something where it can start spreading by word of mouth. And if someone asks, there isn't anything illegal about telling them that you're leaving and where you're going without soliciting their business.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    Yeah, I was gonna say, if you didn't sign anything, you should be able to let your clients know you're leaving and where you're going next. I'm very protective of my pooches and would definitely follow a good groomer once they left.
     
  9. PoodleMommy

    PoodleMommy Yorkie Love

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    From a clients perspective, you should def. try to tell your clients, some way.

    I like the idea of having a third party do it, Have a friend of yours call and say " I cant say who this is, but I wanted to inform you that _____ is leaving the ____ grooming shop".

    It is so hard to find a good groomer that treats dogs well, My dogs have been through too many to count.

    So for the clients sake and your own try and find a way to tell them.

    Good Luck

    Elissa
     
  10. Presents

    Presents New Member

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    thanks for all the feedback.

    I signed nothing during my stay. half of my clients are/were new to the shop because of word of mouth, and I have been there only groomer.

    i've come to a compromise. i'm quiet and helpful until i depart, then I will mail thank you letters, as I am honored that I am entrusted with the pet. I will state that I love my old shop, but opportunity knocks, I have to listen, and i hope I get to see them in the future.

    once again, thanks for the feedback.
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Sounds like you've come up with a good plan, Presents.
     
  12. thoughts_refracted

    thoughts_refracted New Member

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    Here is the legal breakdown:

    Trade secrets: Some clients can be considered trade secrets (basically undisclosed information). A trade secret refers to data or information relating to the business which is not generally known to the public and which the owner reasonably attempts to keep secret and confidential. Trade secrets generally give the business a competitive edge over their rivals. Almost any type of data, processes or information can be referred to as trade secrets so long as it is intended to be and kept a secret, and involves an economic interest of the owner. There are three criteria:
    · It must not be generally known or readily accessible by people who normally deal with such type of information
    · It must have commercial value as a secret
    · The lawful owner must take reasonable steps to keep it secret.

    Basically, if the owner hasn't published the client list then that list belongs to him. You CAN get in trouble for telling the clients you are leaving because if they follow you, you are stealing a trade secret. Probably what would happen is you would be sued (if they chose to pursue it).

    If you call up a lawyer, they may give you advice for free. Just say you have a legal question, they love to talk shop. I suggest that you don't do anything until you find out the trade secret law in your state.

    P.S. The reason they have trade secret laws is so that rival businesses can't send in spies.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. thoughts_refracted

    thoughts_refracted New Member

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    About your plan to send them thank you notes: if you include ANY contact information (phone, address, anything), it could be considered trying to steal the clients. Just FYI.
     
  14. Presents

    Presents New Member

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    The lawful owner must take reasonable steps to keep it secret.

    they throw out dogs name, breed, age, what cut and the clients name, address, phone number(s) daily. (even though i tried for 2 years to change this...)

    no secret if they are worthy of the trash can...

    but i've found out in the last few days, even in a town of millions, we still live in a small world. I've ran into many and word of mouth is amazing. all without telling anyone where i went. :)

    live life right, and it will treat you right.
     
  15. groominggal

    groominggal New Member

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    The client list belongs to the owner of the shop. Taking the client list or any info off it (addresses, phone numbers, etc) is stealing. You can purchase the client list from the shop owner however. The groomers we had leave our shop on good terms we were more than happy to tell her request clients were they were now grooming at, esp the more difficult dogs! The one groomer that left on bad terms (didn't tell us that she was quitting, just didn't show up, avoided all our phone calls, then a few days later her BOYFRIEND called and quit for her) we did not tell any of her request dogs where she was now grooming at, but they all managed to find her anyway.
     

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