Zundel is now back with Melaleuca, and his case illustrates just how
protective multilevel marketing company owners can be toward theirproprietary information.
According to documents filed earlier this month in Connecticut's U.S.District Court, Zundel is trying to get a judge to issue an order declaring that the agreements he signed with FreeLife, which specializes in selling Himalayan Goji Juice, do not restrict him from working for competitors.FreeLife
signed a noncompete with them.The agreement directly prohibited him from working for or consulting to "any other direct selling company" for a one-year period after his
last day of work, according to a Feb. 28 letter the company's legal counsel sent Zundel
, who resigned via e-mail Feb. 18.
"Since your resignation clearly states your immediate intention to accept employment with a direct competitor of FreeLife's
, Melaleuca Inc.
, our client considers you to be currently in direct violation of these restrictive covenants," the letter reads.
Zundel claims in his
suit that though he
did sign a 2005 trade secretsagreement forbidding him from recruiting FreeLife customers or employees for two years, and disclosing any proprietary information or trade secrets for an unlimited time, he
didn't sign anything barring him from working for competitors.
That's why VanderSloot said he
done nothing wrong by hiring Zundel
"We don't think it's appropriate for an employer to keep an employee from working based on a fictitious agreement that never existed," he