This webinar will introduce you to the procedures to protect confidential information, and through examples and recent case law explain how the clauses should be written, how they can best be enforced, and what are the legal pitfalls of misuse.
Regarding the pitfalls of restrictive covenant agreement, consider the following:
Can you go to jail for engaging in a casual conversation at a trade show? This may sound absurd. But suppose that conversation is with an acquaintance at a company that competes with you for HR talent? Over drinks the two of you agree not to poach one another’s key employees. You may have opened yourself up for criminal, as well as civil, liability under U.S. anti-trust laws. That’s precisely what the DOJ is threatening. Uncle Sam and many state governments are turning hostile toward non-compete restraints on employees and independent contractors.
Confidentiality agreements in settlements of employee claims are under assault. And, worst of all, “no poaching” promises between companies, even if in completely different businesses, are being targeted for criminal anti-trust liability.
On the plus side, in our IT age ---- when an employee can walk out the workplace door with your most valuable proprietary information and trade secretes on a flash drive in her/his pocket and walk across the street to your biggest competitor --- these provisions are crucial shields. But to be effective they need to be properly drafted and appropriately negotiated.
Whether placed in an employment contract or an employee handbook, they must be reasonable and supported by suitable consideration. A movement is afoot at both the federal level and in many states to restrict, or outright outlaw, restrictive covenants in employment contracts. Federal and state governments are sowing mind fields that you need to navigate to use these valuable tools and procedures to protect confidential information.
Employers have available a broad spectrum of covenants and clauses tailor-made to protect the organization’s intellectual property, proprietary information, and valuable human resources from misappropriation by current employees. This tool-bag includes, restrictive covenant agreement, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), employee non compete agreement, no-solicitation provisos, and confidentiality clauses.
Knowing when and how to use each of these tools effectively --- and legally --- is a critical skill set in our IT age.
Years of Experience: 36+ Years
Areas of Expertise: Human Resources, Employment and Intellectual Property
Jim Castagnera holds an M.A. in Journalism from Kent State University, and a J.D. and Ph.D. (American Studies) from Case Western Reserve University. He practiced law for 36 years, before retiring in June 2019: 10 years as a labor, employment and intellectual-property attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr; 3 years as general counsel for Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates; 23 years as associate provost & legal counsel for academic affairs at Rider University.
Currently, he devotes his full-time to journalism and teaching. He is the president of K&C Human Resource Enterprises, a freelance-writing, training and consulting company in Greater Philadelphia; the chief consultant for Holland Media Services, LLC, a freelance-writing and communications company in Los Angeles; and, secretary/treasurer of LMC Conflict Training & Conciliation, a non-profit corporation also located in Greater Philadelphia.View all trainings by this speaker