One of your employees has left to work for a competitor. You suspect that they have taken a copy of your customer database with them. What can you do to stop them poaching your customers? The obvious course of action is to claim that they have broken their employment contract. But in this situation, database rights can often be a potent additional weapon.
Problems with employment contracts
Many employment contracts contain "no poaching" provisions prohibiting contact with customers of the business for a limited period. But even if you suspect that the ex-employee was behind an attempt to poach one of your customers, this can often be difficult to prove – especially if the attempt was made by a colleague of the ex-employee at his or her new place of work.
Restrictive covenants of this type can also be difficult to enforce because the rules on restraint of trade often give the ex-employee ample scope to argue that the restriction should not be upheld.
Database rights can be a potent weapon against misuse of customer data by ex-employees.