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Transferring company information could lead to contract disputes

It is not surprising that many Texas companies will require employees who have access to trade secrets to sign non-compete agreements. However, these agreements should not be entered into lightly without completely understanding the terms and what could cause contract disputes.  Many employees sign these contracts blindly and may not understand that what they are doing after they leave their employment could be in violation of their contracts.

A former IT specialist working for Brand Services LLC is accused of stealing confidential information. When the employee was hired, he apparently signed a non-compete agreement stating that he would not reveal any of the confidential information to which he had access if he ever chose to leave the company. Recently, the worker did choose to quit, but he is now accused of disregarding his agreement.

Brand Services claims that the former employee transferred confidential information from his company computer to a personal hard drive. The company subsequently filed a lawsuit against him. He is being sued for breach of contract and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. To keep the employee away from the premises, the company is also seeking a temporary restraining order as well as an ex parte seizure order.

Texas workers who are asked to sign non-compete agreements should never rush in without having them carefully reviewed by an employment law attorney. The lawyer can point out any clauses that may cause contract disputes going forward and assist in negotiating a fair and comprehensive agreement. In the end, the goal is to balance a company's legitimate right to protect its secrets with the right of an employee to continue working in his or her chosen career after leaving the company's employment. 

 

Source: louisianarecord.com, "Brand Services seeks restraining order against former employee", Carrie Bradon, Dec. 24, 2015

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