Dubai court rejects fitness club case against coach for "disclosing secrets"
A fitness club has initiated legal action in the Dubai Civil Court against a former trainer, alleging harm caused by the "disclosure of secrets" and the redirection of clients to a competing club.
The plaintiff is seeking compensation of 51 thousand dirhams, claiming losses incurred due to clients canceling subscriptions or not renewing them after being directed by the coach to join the rival club.
Background of the case:
The fitness club, licensed for non-pharmaceutical trade activities, operates separate fitness clubs for men and women in addition to two health clubs. The accused coach had worked for the club for over three years before resigning without adhering to the prescribed notice period.
Allegations against the coach:
The fitness club alleges that, post-resignation, the coach contacted its clients, prompting them to terminate subscriptions with the company and encouraging them to join the competing club. This alleged action violated the non-competition and non-disclosure clauses outlined in the employment contract, especially since both clubs operate in the same field.
The plaintiff presented a set of documents, including the employment contract with the coach containing non-competition clauses and confidentiality obligations. Additionally, a client issued a letter stating that the coach had urged them to switch to the competing club.
The coach, represented by legal counsel, filed a response contesting the validity and proof of the lawsuit, urging its rejection due to procedural flaws. The competing club also submitted a memorandum requesting the dismissal of the case, citing legal capacity issues and a lack of validity.
Upon reviewing the case and all submissions, the court ruled against accepting the case. The decision was based on the failure to follow the legal path outlined in Article Six of the Labor Law, which mandates disputes between employers and workers to be submitted to the competent labor department before resorting to court.
The court found no evidence that the plaintiff had pursued this avenue, leading to the rejection of the case for non-compliance with legal procedures.
This ruling emphasizes the importance of adhering to established legal processes in employment-related disputes before resorting to formal legal action.