Beware 'no poach' pacts with competitors.

Recruiting new employees is difficult these days, making it more important than ever to retain the staff you already have. Just make sure your retention efforts don't cross the line into collusion with other employers.

Several states are cracking down hard on "no poaching" pacts in which competitors or partners reach a "gentlemen's agreement" not to hire away each other's employees.

Recent case: Two Pittsburgh trucking companies had a contract not to recruit or hire each other's employees. When one company hired four workers from the other, a lawsuit was filed.

The state supreme court concluded that agreeing not to hire another company's employees was an unlawful restraint of...

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