New Boston Creative Group has taken legal action to prevent a former employee from working for a competitor.

New Boston filed a civil lawsuit in Riley County District Court Jan. 24 against Josh Brewer, agency marketing director with 502 Media Group and managing editor of MHK Business News, claiming he violated a non-competition agreement.

New Boston and 502 are both marketing agencies in Manhattan. MHK Business News is a subsidiary of 502.

New Boston alleges in its petition that it terminated Brewer’s employment on June 30, 2018. The company provided the agreement signed by Brewer on March 1, 2018, as evidence.

The agreement said that Brewer couldn’t work for a competitor within a 50-mile radius of Manhattan for a period of one year after termination or two years from the effective date of the agreement without the prior written consent of the New Boston.

New Boston said in its lawsuit that Brewer will be able to contact New Boston’s customers, whose budgets he would be familiar with as the former director of operations for the company.

“(New Boston) is unsure of the scope of (Brewer’s) work at this time, but the threat of confronting overlapping customers is real and substantial,” the petition said.

New Boston is seeking “temporary and permanent injunctions, restraining and adjoining (Brewer) from violating his agreement.”

Brewer argued that New Boston’s non-compete aspect of the contract is too broad.

He said courts have enforced non-compete clauses on more specific issues such as proprietary information and specialized training rather than simple competition.

502 owner Blade Mages said New Boston let Brewer go after three months through no fault of his own, and Brewer isn’t bringing “some secret recipe” with him.

Mages said he believes non-compete clauses can be damaging to the young workforce and the local business community.

Mages said 502 Media asks employees to sign non-disclosure agreements but not non-compete agreements.

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