Keeping Confidential Information Confidential
Technology makes it easy to misappropriate an employer’s business strategies, initiatives, client lists, trade secrets, market research, product development and design information and pricing schemes. Unscrupulous competitors value this knowledge, and dishonest or careless former employees can cause irreparable damage.
The First Line of Defense: Counseling and Prevention
If a departing employee misappropriates a company's proprietary information or intends to divert its hard-earned customer relationships to a competing organization, the threat to the company's reputation, customer base and financial livelihood is real and immediate. Similarly, if a company extends an offer of employment to an individual at a competing organization, it risks litigation and being held liable for the candidate’s misdeeds if it does not vet the candidate appropriately or set guidelines and instructions for the candidate to follow in transitioning from one workplace to another. We offer strategic and practical legal and business advice to help you implement both effective hiring and exit policies and procedures. For example, our attorneys can:
- Identify what information is proprietary and whether it is, or should be, protected.
- Audit existing employment, termination and privacy policies and agreements for compliance with local and state laws and developing new national standards under the Defend Trade Secrets Act.
- Audit and develop protocols to monitor and safeguard access to confidential information.
- Draft corporate policies on confidentiality and implement programs to educate the workforce.
- Evaluate, refine and draft effective restrictive covenant agreements, including non-competition, non-solicitation, non-recruitment and non-disclosure agreements.
- Educate key personnel on recruiting and post-employment guidelines.
- Counsel management and staff on proper hiring and termination procedures.
An Aggressive Response if Necessary
Despite the best preventative efforts, sometimes litigation is inevitable. A departing employee may still try to take, use or disclose your company’s proprietary information and trade secrets or may ignore the restrictive covenants in an employment agreement. Similarly, despite using the best hiring protocols to vet employment candidates, a litigious former employer may still choose to sue over claims of trade secret misappropriation or breach of restrictive covenant agreements. Either way, our attorneys are there to help. We have tremendous depth in handling restrictive covenant disputes, trade secret litigation, computer fraud and abuse matters, and unfair competition claims in many different industries. Moreover, our lawyers have appeared before arbitration panels, in mediation proceedings, and in state and federal courts nationally. Thus, we have a deep bench of experienced intellectual property litigators ready to assist you.