Former Employee

News & Analysis as of

The Peculiar “Personnel-ity” of California Personnel File Inspection Laws

Seyfarth Synopsis: Within the last few years, the California Legislature has amended laws related to an employee’s right to inspect personnel records, intending to ensure employees have access to those records. Since then,...more

USERRA No Bar to Enforcing Employment Arbitration Agreement, Federal Appeals Court Rules

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) does not prohibit compelling a former employee to arbitrate his USERRA claims under an arbitration agreement, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

A Reminder To Be Careful With Ex-Employees And Confidential Information

A lot of companies rely on retired and otherwise former employees for information in litigation – including product liability litigation. Particularly where a product (such as a drug that’s now gone generic) has a long...more

Attorney-Client Privilege in Washington State No Longer Applies When Employment Ends

In order to preserve the attorney-client privilege, counsel who conduct internal investigations begin employee interviews with an “Upjohn Warning”—a disclosure indicating that counsel represents the employer, not the...more

What Underlying Facts are Required to Assert a Valid CFAA Claim Based on “Exceeds Authorized Access” in Georgia?

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) gives rise to an actionable claim if someone “knowingly access[es] a computer without authorization or exceed[s] authorized access.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1). The term “exceeds...more

Washington Supreme Court Creates Bright-Line Rule - Postemployment Communications Between Former Employees and Corporate Counsel...

The Washington Supreme Court held in a 5-4 vote that attorney-client privilege does not apply to communications between corporate counsel and former corporate employees, even if the communications concern what the employees...more

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

The SEC Hates It When You Discourage Whistleblowing

There have been lots of developments on the whistleblower front over the last couple months, and we’ve covered none of them here at Cady Bar the Door. Let’s try to catch up. Today we’ll discuss the first of this recent...more

SEC directs specific communication to employees regarding whistleblowing

In many investigations, whether internal or in response to government inquiries, employers may take action to terminate employees. A recent US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) resolution in the context of the US...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

Ownership of Copyright in Software

Can an employee claim to own the employer’s software? An “author” of a work is the first owner of copyright. To determine ownership, it’s necessary to determine which contributions will be considered “authorship” for...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Recent Decisions Further Definining Liability Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions by which it intends to clarify liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”). The CFAA imposes criminal penalties and...more

A Rose by Any Other Name is Not as Sweet: When a Non-Solicit is Actually a Non-Compete

The Ontario Court of Appeal has held that the words “accept business”, in what the employer intended to be a non-solicitation clause, served to restrict competition and is therefore not merely a non-solicitation...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

Privilege and Practical Implications of Former Employees' Unauthorized Disclosures

Historical facts never deserve privilege protection. Something either happened or it didn't happen. But some litigants erroneously point to this axiom in seeking to discover factual portions of clients' privileged...more

Poachers Beware: Wisconsin Court Rules That Restrictions on Employee Solicitation Are Subject to Law Governing Noncompetes

In a case of first impression, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held that anti-poaching provisions in post-employment restrictive covenants are subject to the statutory regulations that govern noncompete agreements in...more

Industrial Espionage and the Defend Trade Secrets Act

American corporations are facing an ever increasing threat of misappropriation of their valuable trade secrets through industrial espionage, defined as the theft of a company’s trade secrets by an actor intending to convert...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

Wisconsin Court Strikes Clause Restricting Solicitation of Employees

An engineer’s employment contract provision imposing a post-termination restriction against soliciting former co-workers to quit or to accept employment with a competitor, supplier, or customer is an unenforceable restraint...more

Sharing of Passwords Under Certain Circumstances Unlawful

Many companies have experienced the departure of an employee and the elimination of that former employees access to the company’s computers and networks. In the recent case of USA v. Nosal, D.C. No. 3:08-cr-00237-EMC-1 (July...more

Two New England States Pass Legislation Restricting Physician Non-Competes

We’ve written a lot this summer about the Massachusetts legislature’s latest failed attempt at non-compete reform. Two other states in New England, however, are able to claim accomplishments in that regard. Specifically,...more

NY Attorney General Schneiderman Declares “War” on Non-Compete Agreements That He Perceives as Overbroad

In an initiative that is virtually without precedent in New York, in the past two months (June 15, June 22 and August 4) Attorney General Schneiderman announced agreements with three separate companies in three different...more

Wisconsin Court Finds Anti-Poaching Agreements to be Unenforceable

Analyzing an anti-poaching agreement as a non-compete agreement, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals has confirmed that a former employee’s agreement not to solicit other employees may be void and unenforceable if it is too broad....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

FEATURE: Proper Use of Confidential Information Provisions

One of the significant pitfalls businesses encounter is the misuse of confidentiality provisions in company policies and employment agreements. Nearly all employers include restrictive covenants prohibiting the use or...more

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