Author: Richard Robinson

The NLRB’s Challenge To Bridgewater’s Confidentiality Clauses: Its Significance For Employers

The NLRB’s new focus on non-union employment has been well–chronicled here.  Employment contract provisions thought to be governed only by state contract law principles are now subject to the federal National Labor Relations Act and its unfair labor practice prohibition.  Recent NLRB activity concerning confidentiality provisions in hedge fund Bridgewater Associates’ standard employment contract underscores…

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Does The Federal Trade Secrets Act Make A Difference For Connecticut Employers?

The federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (the President signed it on May 11th) went on the books with a lot of fanfare.  For the first time, employers (and other trade secret owners)  have a federal law claim for trade secret misappropriation, and resort to the federal courts for relief.  Previously, trade secret enforcement through civil…

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Required Consideration Lacking For Replacement Employment Contract

A September 23rd Connecticut Appellate Court decision tells a cautionary tale for employers drafting employment contracts intended to replace earlier contracts. Thoma v. Oxford Performance Materials, Inc., 2014 WL 4548490 (Conn. App.). In Thoma, the employee’s first contract gave her the right to a generous severance if the employer terminated her without cause. It also…

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Alternative Theories To Address Former Employee Competition Where There Are No Covenants

A recent Connecticut Superior Court case demonstrates that all is not lost for an employer when a former employee without a non-compete or a non-solicitation covenant leaves and competes. Wentworth, DeAngelis & Kaufman, Inc. v. Nims, 2014 WL 1013479 (Conn. Super.). The defendant there joined the plaintiff’s insurance agency in 2007 to service certain of its…

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Workplace Bullying and The Law

Could Jonathan Martin successfully sue the Miami Dolphins and Richie Incognito for workplace bullying?  Probably not. For one reason or another, the existing array of legal claims do not cover much of what would be considered workplace bullying.  And while there have been thoughtful efforts to develop model legislation which would provide a right of…

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Will The Material Change Doctrine Reduce Your Ability to Enforce Your Non-Competes?

Consider this:  An employee signs a perfectly reasonable non-compete/non-solicitation agreement at the inception of employment.  The employee remains with the employer for ten years and during that period, receives several promotions each of which changes or increases the employee’s duties.  Each of these jobs requires the employee to have significant customer contacts and become privy…

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Was A-Rod Smart To Walk Out on his Arbitration?

Did embattled Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez make a sound strategic judgment in walking out of his grievance arbitration hearing yesterday concerning his 211-game, PED-related suspension after the arbitrator denied his request to have MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, the person who made the suspension decision, testify?  Should you do the same thing when an arbitrator…

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Before Adopting a Restrictive Covenant Program, Check For Fundamentals?

A relatively recent Connecticut Superior Court decision holding certain non-compete and non-solicitation covenants unenforceable illustrates the need for businesses to focus on fundamentals in creating and litigating these provisions.  It also illustrates that in some instances, old axioms in this area don’t always apply. The old axiom here is that courts are more inclined to…

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