Articles Posted in Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/stamp-characters-label-informant-143799/)

Until a few years ago, if an employer wanted to pursue a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets, it probably had to do so in state court under state law. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 changed all that. The DTSA is a federal law that created a private federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. So, now, if an employee takes your precious trade secrets, you can sue under federal law in federal court. And, in certain circumstances, you can collect your attorney’s fees if you prevail. The DTSA has real teeth!

But, what if you learn that an employee misappropriated your trade secrets before the DTSA took effect on May 11, 2016. Are you stuck in state court? Continue reading

ContractLaw

By US Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Late last week, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation to ban employers and employees from entering into non-competition agreements. Continue reading


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I’m mailing this one in, folks. I mean, did the two of you who actually clicked on today’s post read the title first?!? (I practically fell asleep at “bipartisan”)

And, if you need to catch up on your zzzz’s, you can read a copy of “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” here. The workplace implications are simple: Companies can now sue employees in state or (for the first time) federal court for trade secret misappropriation.

Now, to actually make this post worth your while, I’m going to remind you that there’s still time to enter my contest. One lucky reader will get my official copy of O’Connor’s Federal Employment Codes Plus 2015-2016 edition. And I will inscribe a personalized message in said book. In blue highlighter.

Turkey Hill Limited Edition Butter Brickle Ice Cream

Non-competition agreements haven’t gotten much play on this blog. It’s like going into an ice cream shop and ordering Butter Brickle. Meh. Yet, there it is: Butter Brickle, right between classics like Vanilla and Chocolate and those newer flavors, Tahitian Vanilla and Chocolate Dreamsicle.

As a mainstay, every once and a while, I must page homage.

***spoons Butter Brickle into gaping mouth***

It’s pretty good, you know.

And non-competes….let’s discuss them too. Specifically, what happens if a former employee joins a top competitor, and, by the time a judge is ready to do something about it, the non-competition agreement is about to expire? Will the court level the playing field and restart the non-compete?

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RadioShack-ctr-119.jpgBack when the Lamborghini Countach poster was in your bedroom, spinach and artichoke dip was on the menu, and it was hip to be square, this image would have been fitting for this blog — what’s a blog?!?! — post.

Yes, there was a time when a secret recording in the workplace implied an expectation of privacy in whatever conversation was recorded. But, now, everyone has a smartphone and, with a few quick thumb taps, an easy way to audio or video record anything and everything.

So, who among us has a reasonable expectation of privacy at work?

According to the National Labor Relations Board, practically no one who works for the company.

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“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”