Tag Archives: California

State Attorneys General Step Up Antitrust Probes of Franchise Industry Hiring Practices

In the midst of a federal effort to ramp up antitrust prosecutions of companies agreeing not to recruit or hire each other’s employees (see previous articles dated November 9, 2016, January 25, 2018, April 25, 2018 and July 17, 2018), special scrutiny – and criticism – has been directed toward the use of no-poach agreements … Continue Reading

California Non-Compete Law Renders Surgeon Settlement Agreement Unenforceable

Answering a question left from a previous appeal in the same case, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has concluded that a settlement agreement provision between a physician and his former employer, the California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (“CEP”), constituted a “restraint of a substantial character” on the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Holds Employee’s Agreement to Reimburse Training Costs in Event of Resignation Does Not Offend Public Policy

A California court recently upheld an employer’s right to condition free training on continued employmentin the matter of USS-POSCO Industries v. Case, No. A140457 (Jan. 26, 2016). The defendant/appellant in the litigation, USS POSCO Industries (“UPI”) had originally hired Case as an entry-level Laborer and Side Trim Operator. UPI faced a shortage of skilled Maintenance … Continue Reading

Cases are easier to start than they are to finish: California Court awards $180,000 in sanctions for meritless trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought in bad faith

The California Court of Appeal has upheld an award of monetary sanctions against a company that brought a lawsuit against its competitor that the court found was meritless and intended to stifle competition. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., H038555 (Apr. 28, 2015). Cypress sued Maxim for trade secret misappropriation, alleging Maxim was attempting … Continue Reading

California Court Considers Customer Lists, LinkedIn Contacts, in Trade Secrets Case

A federal district court for the Central District of California has issued a detailed decision regarding customer lists and LinkedIn contacts in ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment in the trade secrets dispute captioned Cellular Accessories For Less, Inc. v. Trinitas, LLC,  No. CV 12-06736 DDP, including a surprising ruling that LinkedIn contacts might be … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Upholds Choice of Law Provision in Non-Solicitation Case Involving California Employee

In another example of out-of-state employers utilizing choice of forum and choice of law provisions to bind California employees to restrictive covenants, the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently held that a Pennsylvania choice of law and forum clause was enforceable as against a California resident. The case, Synthes USA Sales, LLC v. Harrison, involved a sales … Continue Reading

CA Court Concludes Contract, Common Law Claims not Preempted by Trade Secrets Act

The Court of Appeal for California’s Fourth Appellate District recently confirmed that the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), a broad statute intended to be the last word in trade secret misappropriation cases, does not preclude separate but related common law claims, so long as these claims are not based entirely on the trade secret … Continue Reading

Washington Forum Selection Clause Enforced by California Court in Non-Compete Action

A California federal court recently dismissed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that a non-compete agreement is unenforceable under California law, upholding the parties’ Washington forum selection clause. Meras Engineering, Inc. v. CH20, Inc., No. C-11-0389 EMC (N.D. Cal. Jan. 14, 2013). CH20 is a Washington corporation with its principal place of business in Washington.  Meras Engineering, … Continue Reading

Unfair Competition Claim Based on Copyright Infringement Preempted by Copyright Act

A federal court in California has held that a state law claim that a competitor engaged in unfair competition by creating infringing work after hiring former employees who stole proprietary information is preempted by the federal Copyright Act. Metabyte, Inc. v. NVidia Corp., et al., Case No. 12-0044 SC (N.D. Cal. April 22, 2013. Metabyte employed individuals to develop … Continue Reading

Joint B-School/Law School Study Sheds Empirical Light on Use of Non-Competes in CEO Contracts

A recent study by three business and law school professors analyzed a random sample of 1,000 CEO employment contracts for 500 American companies over a seventeen year time span. The study determined how often the contracts included non-competes, whether the use of non-competes has increased over time, whether the use of non-competes is correlated to profitability, … Continue Reading

North Dakota Non-Compete Law Shares History with California

North Dakota has one of the fastest-growing workforces in the country as the result of recent advances in extracting natural gas and oil.  As more employers seek to hire in or transfer employees to the Peace Garden State, many are surprised to discover that North Dakota law prohibits non-compete agreements. North Dakota Century Code Section … Continue Reading
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