This is an extract of our Employee Duties And Promises document, which we sell as part of our Employment Law Outlines collection written by the top tier of Harvard Law School students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Employment Law Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Employee Duties & Promises A: Duty of Loyalty & Trade Secrets Theory of Trade Secrets and Noncompetition Clauses:
? Employers will tend to pay for firm-specific training, but tend to make employees pay for general training that is valuable to many employers (often in lower wages than there actual contribution would dictate).
? "Restrictions may be justified when employers provide job training that is too expensive for the employee to pay for ahead of time or at the same time the training is being provided. *** If employers could not protect this information or their investments in job training, employers would not invest as much in these valuable activities, or they would have to take inefficient steps to protect the information.
? The task for courts ... is to distinguish between (1) restrictions that protect employers when they disclose valuable information to employees or make expensive investments in training; and (2) restrictions that prevent employees from using general on-the-job training that they have already paid for themselves." Jet Courier: An employee is subject to a duty of loyalty, which requires him to act solely for the benefit of the employer in all matters connected with employment; this means that the employee has a duty not to compete with his employer.
? Privilege to Prepare for Competition: Courts have recognized "a privilege in favor of employees which enables them to prepare to compete with their employers prior to leaving their employ" without being subject to liability for breach of fiduciary duty. o An employee can "advise current customers that he will be leaving his current employment" but cannot solicit their business prior to the termination of his employment
? Solicitation of Other Employees: "A court may find that it is a breach of duty for a number of key officers or employees to agree to leave their employment simultaneously and without giving the employer an opportunity to hire and train replacements," even if no employee breaches his employment contract (because the contract is at-will). o All persons are subject to tort liability for intentional interference with contractual relations; the duty of loyalty must impose additional requirements on current employees.
? Court eschews a bright-line rule - which would look to whether tortious interference with contract occurred - and instead proposes a multi-factor test to determine whether the duty of loyalty has been violated o Consider the nature of the employment relationship, the impact or potential impact of the employee's actions on the employer's operations, and the extent of any benefits promised or inducements made to co-workers to obtain their services for the new competing enterprise. No single factor is dispositive
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