Labor & Employment Civil Remedies General Business

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Prescribing the “minimum effective dose”

Drafting and enforcing post-employment restraints has a lot in common with good medicine. It is necessary to prescribe only the “minimum effective dose” – the amount necessary to produce the desired outcome with minimum...more

Employment Alert: "Federal Protection of Trade Secrets - the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016"

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA"), a comprehensive amendment of existing legislation that previously addressed economic espionage and now provides for a private federal civil cause of...more

4.5 Million Reasons to Abide by a Non-Solicitation Agreement

On September 9, 2016, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld an award of $4.5 million in punitive damages against several former employees, who violated non-compete/non-solicitation agreements with their former employers. In...more

Courts Address Conspiracy, Knowing Participation, and Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

In Rhymes v. Filter Res., Inc., a former employer sued a former employee and the employee’s new business for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference related to the employee’s competition with...more

$8 million Prevailing Wage verdict in 2011 for work on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Rent credit from Port District triggered prevailing wage; $8 Million in back wages paid by Hensel Phelps Construction Company - In California Prevailing Wage Law, “public funds” come in many forms. In the case of the...more

New Federal Law Protects Trade Secrets

A company’s trade secrets are its lifeblood, but they are valuable only if they remain secret. Faced with a growing rise in theft from foreign hackers, nation states, and rogue employees, trade secret owners now have a new...more

This Cold Bud Is For You: SEC Sanctions Anheuser-Busch for “Chilling” Employee from Communicating with SEC

On September 28, 2016, the SEC announced that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dodd-Frank whistleblower violations. The SEC’s order stated that AB InBev violated...more

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Lessons in Joint Venture FCPA Compliance

Just in time for National Beveridge Day comes the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), where the company paid $6 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA and...more

NLRB Reaffirms Alan Ritchey Doctrine with New Make-Whole Twist

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Board reaffirmed, prospectively, the Alan Ritchey doctrine requiring employers to bargain over discretionary discipline issued to newly organized employees pre-first contract and mandated prospective...more

Pa. Superior Court Affirms Punitive Damage Award in Breach of Noncompetition Agreement

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that assesses punitive damages against several individuals and their new employer resulting from their en masse departure from a previous firm and, in the...more

Texas Appellate Court Affirms Injunctive Relief and $2.8 Million Award in Attorney’s Fees Against Former Employee in Trade Secret...

A Texas Court of Appeals held on August 22, 2016, that a former employer was entitled to $2.8 million in attorney’s fees against a former employee who used the employer’s information to compete against it. The Court reached...more

Court Upholds Enforceability of “Clickwrap” Employee Agreement

As we have previously discussed, if you want your electronic contracts to be enforceable, it is a best practice to require the counterparty to affirmatively accept the contract by checking a box or clicking a button. A recent...more

Changes to the Taxation of Termination Payments

Termination payments are payments made to individuals as a result of their loss of employment. They are often made up of different components including statutory redundancy, compensation for loss of office, damages and...more

Attention, Businesses! Federal Law Provides New Tools for Protecting Your Trade Secrets

Your business’s formula for success may not be akin to a recipe for a secret sauce. But it is likely that you do not want to share with your direct competitors the unique business methods you have developed over time or your...more

EEOC Sues Midwest Freight Systems for Breach of Mediation Agreement

Company Refused to Honor Agreement to Pay Monetary Relief to Charging Party, Federal Agency Charges - DETROIT - Midwest Freight Systems Corporation, a freight transportation company with headquarters in Warren, Mich.,...more

Agreement Prohibiting Solicitation of Employees by Former Employee may be Unenforceable

A recent decision from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has raised serious questions regarding non-solicitation agreements that are often included as part of an employment agreement or severance agreement. A non-solicitation...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

Uber’s $100 Million Settlement Falls Apart

In a surprising development, a federal court judge rejected a proposed settlement yesterday which would have seen gig giant Uber pay up to $100 million to resolve a series of legal claims challenging its classification model,...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Whistleblower Restrictions: Calls Qui Tam Waivers "Targeting"

The SEC announced its second enforcement action in a week against a company using severance or confidentiality agreements requiring employees to waive whistleblower bounties or their right to bring a qui tam action....more

SEC Fines Companies for Anti-Whistleblower Language in Severance Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the settlement of two proceedings regarding the SEC’s whistleblower protection framework, resulting in over $500,000 in penalties. Both of the companies were charged...more

Fourth Circuit Decision Reminds Employers That Overbroad Noncompete Agreements May Not Be Enforceable

If your company operates in a territory covered by the 4th circuit (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) and requires employees to sign a noncompete agreement with language similar to the...more

3 Severance Agreement Time-bombs

Last week the SEC entered a cease and desist agreement with BlueLinx Holdings, fining the company $265,000.00 for including unlawful confidentiality and waiver provisions in its severance agreements. BlueLinx used a variety...more

You Cannot Create A Restrictive Covenant Out of Thin Air

I recently read a lengthy, and I have to admit, well-crafted letter by one employer (who I will call Company A) accusing a former executive (Mr. B) of violating every conceivable restriction relating to recruiting employees...more

DOJ and SEC Collect $22 Million from LAN Airlines for Conduct in Resolving Labor Dispute

Last week, the Justice Department and the SEC announced parallel FCPA settlements totaling $22 million in fines, penalties and disgorgement against LAN Airlines, a Chile-based airline, for conduct in resolving a labor dispute...more

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