1003
author_image
Jonathan A. Segal
Partner
Share

I am pleased to share my blog post for Philadelphia Business Journal.

“Ban the Box” initiatives are hot and likely to get even hotter. Indeed, for employers in Philadelphia, the law just did.

By way of background, “Ban the Box” initiatives are state laws or local ordinances that restrict when employers can ask about criminal convictions. The box that is banned is the answer to the question: have you been convicted of a crime…..”

(more…)

About Jonathan A. Segal
1003
author_image
Jonathan A. Segal is a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the Employment Group. He is also the managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute. The Duane Morris Institute provides training for human resource professionals, in-house counsel, and other leaders at client sites and by way of webinar on myriad employment, leadership labor, benefits and immigration topics. Jonathan has served intermittently as a consultant to the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. for more than 20 years, providing training on employment issues to federal judges around the country. Jonathan also has provided training on harassment on behalf of the EEOC as well as providing training on diversity to members of the United States intelligence agencies. Jonathan is also frequently a featured speaker at national, state and local human resource, business and legal conferences, including conferences sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Business and Industry. Jonathan’s practice focuses on maximizing compliance and minimizing legal risk. Jonathan’s particular areas of emphasis include: equal employment opportunity in general and gender equality in particular: social media; wage and hour; performance management; talent acquisition; harassment prevention and correction; and non-competes and other ways to protect your business. You can find him on Twitter @Jonathan_HR_Law .
992
author_image
Jennifer A. Kearns
Share

Virtually all life sciences companies use routine protocols which they believe will protect their intellectual property and other confidential or “trade secret” information. Among these routine proactive protocols are having a standard confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement (sometimes referred to below as “NDA”), limiting access to confidential and trade secret information, periodic internal audits of safeguarding methods, and more. But are “trade secrets” the same as “confidential information?”

Most confidentiality/nondisclosure agreements will include references to “intellectual property,” “trade secrets,” and “other confidential information.” The agreements usually contain a boilerplate laundry list of the types of information the company deems to be protected under the agreement – formulae, protocols, cell lines, and so on. Many agreements define “trade secrets and other confidential information” far too broadly — for example, a clause defining as confidential “all other information about the company or its business.” There is an inherent tension between defining a company’s confidential/trade secret information too narrowly (the risk being that something important is not defined as confidential or trade secret) or defining such information too broadly (the risk being that a court will conclude that the definition is overly broad and will refuse to enforce the agreement). A discussion on striking the right balance in a company’s definition of its confidential or trade secret information is a topic for another blogging day. Stay tuned.

Today’s blog will focus on two alternate paths a company might take in seeking to protect its confidential or trade secret information. We will work under the assumption that an individual formerly employed by biotech Company A has now left and is working for biotech Company B in the same capacity, a high level research position. We will further assume that the worker had access to highly confidential trade secret information belonging to Company A, and that he or she did execute a confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement while employed by Company B. Company B heralds the employee’s arrival with press releases, and soon thereafter, Company A learns that Company B is now doing research that sounds remarkably similar to that which the employee spearheaded while at Company A. What are Company A’s options?

(more…)

About Jennifer A. Kearns
992
author_image
Jennifer A. Kearns practices in the area of employment law, both in the transactional and counseling arena, and in the litigation context. Ms. Kearns has over two decades of experience in counseling and advising employers on all aspects of employment law under federal and California state law. She conducts training for management and assists employers, from startups to large companies, in developing and implementing policies and best practices. She has a particular interest in working with companies in analyzing and resolving matters involving nonsolicitation and noncompetition agreements (restrictive covenants). While Ms. Kearns' practice is primarily management-side, she also represents and advises individual executives in negotiating executive employment agreements and, on occasion, severance packages.