Robin went to work for Titans, Inc., a major banking house, as a security specialist. He had charge of designing and implementing all security protocols and equipment at Titan Towers for Titan’s physical security and security of their business transactions. Before starting work, Robin signed a written employment agreement. The agreement included a non-compete clause that stated as follows:
“18. NON-COMPETE – Employee agrees that for a period of two years following Employee’s term as an employee of Company, Employee shall not be employed as a security specialist for any other company in the financial service industry, anywhere in the world. Provided Employee shall comply with all terms of this provision, at the end of said two year term, Company shall pay to Employee a bonus payment of Ten Thousand (10,000) Dollars within 30 days of the end of the aforesaid two year period.
Robin worked for Titans, Inc. for a year and then left to return to his prior life as a circus acrobat. He toured the world with Hailey’s Circus for two years, doing no work at all in the financial services industry. At the end of two years from the date he left Titans, Inc., Robin returned to the US and opened his own security firm, aimed at the financial services industry. Robin also wrote to Titans, Inc. and informed them that he had lived up to his obligations under the non-compete clause in his agreement, and requested they send him the $10,000 bonus.
Titans writes back thanking Robin for abiding by his agreement.
Robin waits patiently, but after six months, his savings are running low and his new business could use an influx of cash. Robin sells his right to collect the $10,000 to Speedy, a friend from his Titans, Inc. days who has also left the company. Two weeks later, Speedy sends a letter to Titans, Inc., telling them that he has acquired the rights to the debt owed to Robin and demanding payment in ten (10) days.
A week after Robin sells the debt to Speedy, Titan’s Inc,’s accountants do an internal audit. They discover that many debts from former employees to the company, from participating in the company’s Home Down Payment Borrowing Program, had never been collected. Among these debts are $5,000 from Robin and also $5,000 from Speedy. When Titans, Inc. gets Speedy’s letter, they ignore it, believing they are now even with Robin and Speedy.
When he does not hear back from Titans, Inc., Speedy sues them for the $10,000 debt to Robin.
In the lawsuit between Speedy and Titan’s Inc., who should win and who should collect what?