The Recorder reports an uptick in defamation claims by fired employees. These claims are often in the form of plaintiffs saying that their bosses gave others false reasons for their firing. These types of claims strike fear in the hearts of employers, but employers do have some powerful defenses to call upon.
It’s common for customers or clients to want to stick with the person who has been handling their account even when that person moves to a different company. But this situation can create serious issues around trade secrets and unfair competition. So, whenever you hire someone from a competitor, give that new employee guidelines to follow—it will save everyone legal headaches.
The following is a guest blog post by Jeffrey Osofsky, an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles with a practice focusing on defending employers and individual managers against employment-based lawsuits. Mr. Osofsky wishes to thank Munger Tolles Partner Terry Sanchez for his assistance with this post.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act generally prohibits employers from basing their employment decisions on certain protected characteristics (race, sex, pregnancy, etc.). But what happens when an employer sued for discrimination can show that, despite any unlawful consideration, it would have reached the same decision about that employee anyway?
Do you or your employees check personal email from work computers? Probably so, as most of us do it at least occasionally. Are those personal emails actually private? The law in California is clear that employers can limit or even completely prohibit personal and Internet use on company computers. See TBG Ins. Servs. Corp. v Superior Court (2002) 96 CA4th 443, 452, 117 CR2d 155. But what if the employer does not prohibit employees from making personal use of its computers — does the employee have any expectation of privacy in emails sent from his or her personal email account while on the company computer?