Joel O'Malley

Joel O'Malley

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

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Latest Publications


A Matter of Protocol - Rules for Departing Brokers Trying to Solicit Former Clients

Question: We operate a financial services firm that employs account executives who execute investment trades on behalf of clients. One of our brokers recently resigned to move to a competitor firm. ...more

11/4/2016 - Brokers Investment Adviser Non-Solicitation Agreements Restrictive Covenants

Quirky Question #283: They Stole Our Stuff, Can We Sue?

Question: My company recently terminated an employee, and we are very worried she accessed her email inappropriately in the days before she was fired. The timing of it all is … well, quirky. Here’s what happened: The...more

7/1/2016 - Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) Email Former Employee Stored Communications Act Termination Trade Secrets Unauthorized Access

Quirky Question #281: Deploying the DTSA

Question: We believe our former employee recently stole some of our trade secrets and went to a competitor. Can we rely on the Defend Trade Secrets Act to bring suit in federal court?...more

6/14/2016 - Confidentiality Agreements Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Duty to Preserve Former Employee Injunctive Relief Misappropriation

Quirky Question # 276: Ex-Employees Gone Rogue

Question: Our company utilizes confidentiality agreements to try to protect our confidential and proprietary information. One of our former sales employees recently left us to work for a competing company. We have evidence...more

4/20/2016 - Breach of Contract Confidential Information Confidentiality Agreements Damages Intellectual Property Protection Non-Disclosure Agreement Proprietary Information Trade Secrets

Question #275: Can We Take A Stand On Employees Sitting?

Question: Some of our retail company’s employees in California are demanding chairs to sit in while they work. Management thinks it appears unprofessional to have workers sitting, but I hear the employees might have a legal...more

4/12/2016 - Banks CA Supreme Court Class Action CVS Employer Liability Issues Job Duties JPMorgan Chase Retailers Seating Suitable Seats Lawsuits Totality of Circumstances Test Wage Orders

Question #274: Opining on Obesity

Question: We have a large meat processing facility in Northern Minnesota. We were recently hiring for one of our positions in the plant requiring work with large mechanical equipment. Because we consider this position to be...more

4/8/2016 - ADA Conditional Job Offers Disability Disability Discrimination EEOC Hiring & Firing Medical Examinations Obesity

Question #273: Crafting a Concrete Non-Compete

Question: Our company uses non-compete and non-solicit agreements that bar former employees from having contact with any client of our company after they leave. One former employee who recently left is now claiming the...more

3/29/2016 - Binding Arbitration Confidential Information Employment Contract Injunctive Relief Non-Compete Agreements Non-Disclosure Agreement Non-Solicitation Agreements Restrictive Covenants

Question #272: Competing in California

Question: One of our company’s employees recently left to start a competing business. We think he started this process while he was still employed by us, and that he is probably using information he learned from us. ...more

3/21/2016 - Breach of Duty Competition Confidentiality Agreements Duty of Loyalty Injunctive Relief Proprietary Information Termination Trade Secrets

DOL’s Much-Anticipated Proposed “White-Collar” Exemption Rules Focus on Increased Salary-Basis Requirements

The Department of Labor (DOL) today issued proposed regulations which, if adopted, will dramatically increase the number of executive, administrative and professional (white collar) workers eligible to earn overtime...more

7/2/2015 - DOL Exempt-Employees FLSA Multi-Factor Test NPRM Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Quirky Question #262, An update on Wisconsin non-competes

Question: We are a Wisconsin employer that recently lost a number of employees to a direct competitor in our region. As a result, we are now in the process of having all of our employees sign non-compete agreements...more

6/8/2015 - Breach of Contract Consideration Contract Amendments Employment Contract Non-Compete Agreements WI Supreme Court

Quirky Question #254, Foreign currency fluctuations and expat employees

Question: I am an HR manager working for a US company that sends employees on long term assignment abroad. One of our senior assignees recently rang me to say how worried he is about Greek politics and the potential...more

2/25/2015 - Compensation & Benefits Currency Fluctuation Expatriates Foreign Currency Multinationals Wages

Quirky Question #253, Private arbitrations becoming not-so-private?

Question: I read with interest the answer to Quirky Question #248 about mandatory arbitration. You mentioned one of the benefits of arbitration being that is more private than a dispute in court, which is certainly a...more

2/19/2015 - Arbitration Disclosure Requirements Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

10-K Conundrum: 7th Circuit Holds Corporate Filings Can Lead To Employment Claims

A recent Seventh Circuit decision provides a cautionary tale for employers deciding what level of detail about litigated matters to include in publicly disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings. The court...more

1/22/2015 - Corporate Counsel Discrimination Employee Privacy Rights Employer Liability Issues Form 10-K Former Employee Popular Publicly-Traded Companies Regulation S-K Retaliation SEC

Quirky Question #251, Naming Names in SEC Filings?

Question: Our publicly traded company must file a disclosure with the SEC, and we’re trying to determine what information to include regarding recent charges of discrimination that former employees have filed with the...more

1/22/2015 - Disclosure Requirements Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Filing Requirements Form 10-K Regulation S-K Right to Privacy SEC

Quirky Question #250, New York wage notice burdens lifted

Question: I am a New York employer and I have heard about some onerous requirements to furnish wage notices to all employees. Is this law taking effect soon?...more

1/19/2015 - Amended Legislation Annual Notices Employer Liability Issues Wages

Amendments to the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Lower Burdens but Increase Liability

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), passed in 2011, requires, in part, that employers give written notice of wage rates to each newly hired employee within ten days of hire. ...more

1/14/2015 - Amended Legislation Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Reporting Requirements Wage Theft Prevention Act

Quirky Question #249, Rebirth of Pregnancy Discrimination?

Question: I work in Human Resources at a mid-size Minnesota company and am working on an HR resource related to workplace accommodations. I am relatively familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but am...more

1/9/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act EEOC Employer Mandates FMLA Human Resources Professionals PDA Reasonable Accommodation

Quirky Question #248, Is arbitration really better than court?

Question: My company is considering implementing a policy of mandatory arbitration of employment disputes. Putting aside the legal considerations, is this practically a good idea?...more

12/10/2014 - Arbitration Arbitrators Confidential Information Evidence

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

12/4/2014 - ADA Affordable Care Act Biometric Information EEOC Employer Liability Issues Health Insurance HIPAA Honeywell International Popular Preliminary Injunctions Premiums Safe Harbors Wellness Programs

Quirky Question #246, iKnow where your iPad is

Our California company intends to provide iPads to all of our sales employees, but to make sure we can locate the iPads if they are lost or stolen, we plan to use the iPads’ GPS capabilities to track their locations. As an...more

12/1/2014 - Employer Liability Issues GPS iPad Mobile Privacy Privacy Concerns

Quirky Question #244, An Update on Ebola

In Quirky Question #244, we discussed what employers should do to protect their employees and businesses in light of the potential Ebola threat. Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly 700 Minnesota National...more

11/25/2014 - Department of Defense (DOD) Ebola FMLA Liberia National Guard Safety Precautions USERRA Workplace Safety

Minnesota National Guard to Fight Ebola in Liberia

Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly 700 Minnesota National Guard members to deploy to Liberia this spring to help fight the Ebola epidemic. The citizen-soldiers are scheduled to start training in March...more

11/24/2014 - Ebola Foreign Deployment Liberia National Guard

Quirky Question #245, Last chance agreements

We operate a manufacturing plant with a union workforce where new employees begin with a 90-day probationary period during which they are not yet members of the union. I recently hired a guy who refused to work overtime on...more

11/4/2014 - ADA Contract Drafting Corporate Counsel Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Last Chance Agreements Manufacturers Manufacturing Facilities Probationary Period Retaliation Union Membership Unions

Employers: Take Precautions Now to Prepare for the Potential Ebola Threat

As a general business practice, employers should routinely anticipate and prepare for emergencies to ensure minimal interruption to their business. While West Africa is experiencing the largest Ebola epidemic in history,...more

10/29/2014 - Best Management Practices CDC Ebola Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Workplace Safety

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