Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
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Dedicated Client Advocacy

Key workers, new employment: Will there be post-departure issues?

We duly note at the proven Connecticut business law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, in Middlesex, that many of our attorneys began their careers in the labor-law field and "are experienced with the full gamut of labor and employment matters."

One relevant sphere of that legal realm relates centrally to issues that can arise when a so-called "key" worker terminates employment with a firm to continue his or her career elsewhere.

In many instances, ambiguity can arise as to whether that worker -- who might have been closely involved with the creation and development of intellectual property and who has plenary knowledge of a company's propriety data and trade secrets -- can exploit what was learned on the job for personal benefit or to aid a business rival going forward.

The answer to such a question often revolves around whether that worker was legally bound through disclosure limitations imposed by a former employer through relevant contracts addressing IP and business protections.

Without such written safeguards, an employer can be materially harmed when a valued worker commanding precious company knowledge either begins applying that acumen on behalf of a competitor or goes directly into business as a new entrepreneurial rival.

Much can be done to protect against that and, alternatively, to safeguard the rights of departing employees who shouldn't be unlawfully pressured to limit their business prerogatives through unfair restrictive covenants.

Tailoring -- most importantly, reasonable language as to the type and scope of restrictions -- is everything when it comes to the wording of contracts like noncompetes and other agreements that seek to place controls on a departing worker.

Employers and employees with questions or concerns regarding any aspect of intellectual property protection and post-employment restrictions addressing knowledge sharing and related matters can turn for guidance to an experienced employment law firm.

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